A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

Union of European Guides and Scouts

Founded on the Christian Roots of Europe

VATICAN CITY, 5 JUNE 2006 (ZENIT)

Here is the description of the International Union of European Guides and ScoutsEuropean Scouting Federation which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

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Official name: International Union of European Guides and ScoutsEuropean Scouting Federation

Acronym: UIGSE-FSE (Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'EuropeFederation du Scoutisme Europeen)

Also known as: CES Confederation of European Scouts

Established: 1956

History: UIGSE-FSE was founded in Cologne, Germany, by young German and French scout leaders as an international association with the purpose of practicing scouting within the framework of a European ideal whose roots lie in Christianity.

Governed by a federal statute and a constitution which still form the basis of agreement and cooperation among Christians of different denominations within the same federation, the union developed throughout Europe between 1962 and 1968 under the leadership of a French couple, Perig and Liziz Geraud-Keraod.

It was in those years that the constitution was revised, incorporating much of the Scouts' Catholic Charter which was approved by the Holy See; the drafting of the Charter of the Natural and Christian Principles of European Scouting signed by the federated associations; the drafting of a new federal statute which adopted the present name, reaffirming its belonging to the Catholic Church.

As a nongovernmental organization, the association has consultative status with the Council of Europe. On Aug. 26, 2003, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe Federation du Scoutisme Europeen as an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.

Identity: The purpose of UIGSE-FSE is to bring together in the same community of faith, prayer and action, the national associations that strive to prepare and educate young people through the practice of the traditional scouting of Baden-Powell, on the Christian bases which form the foundations of European civilization.

It views scouting as a means of performing the apostolate in the Church, and therefore as a tool for providing Christian instruction for men and women practicing the Gospel values in their service to the world. The member associations faithfully adhere to the legacy of the founders of Catholic scouting, which comprises the Scout Law, Promise and Ceremonial.

Guides and scouts, which constitute distinct and separate units, constitute a single movement within the life of the union/confederation in its spirit and management. The educational basis of scouting using the "troop system" is used by all the member associations, which work on the basis of the guidelines laid down in the Charter of the Natural and Christian Principles of European Scouting.

Organization: UIGSE-FSE is managed by a federal council, a federal bureau and a federal commissioner.

The federal council which comprises representatives of the member associations, meets every year to lay down the programs and the guidelines for the union's work, deciding on the admission or exclusion of associations, adopting the federal budget, and electing members to the federal bureau and other working groups or committees.

The federal bureau deals with the day-to-day management of the federation and comprises the federal commissioner, the president, the vice president, and the secretary of the federal council. The spiritual adviser (ecclesiastical assistant) and the federal commissioner's co-workers attend the meetings of the bureau with a consultative vote.

Consistent with the principles of the Catholic Church on ecumenism, UIGSE-FSE accepts associations belonging to other churches and ecclesial communities as associate members.

Membership: UIGSE-FSE has a membership of about 52,000, and 19 member associations (including one Lutheran, one Orthodox, one Calvinist and one evangelical) in 15 countries in Europe and North America.

Publications: Nouvelles de notre Fraternité, a quarterly newsletter; Lettre aux Commissaires généraux, a quarterly liaison newsletter. The member associations also have their own national publications.

Web site: www.scouts-europe.org

Headquarters:

Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe
11, Grande Rue
10210 Prusy France

Tel. and Fax (33) 1-6074.2820

E-mail: uigse@scouts-europe.org
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