human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Regional groups

Caritas Europa covers the entire European region from Iceland to Spain and from Portugal to Georgia.

Bilateral and multilateral exchanges happen all the time within the network. Sometimes, neighbouring countries share similar challenges and it is important to facilitate the creation of local synergies and mutual learning in humanitarian action. Caritas Europa has two sub-regional groups where member organisations can build upon their common culture and language:

  • The South East Europe Caritas Emergency Group (SEECEG);
  • The Eastern Europe-Caucasus Caritas Emergency Group (EECCEG).

Both platforms enable the cross-country exchange of best practices and challenges related to emergencies. The drafting of appropriate national Caritas responses for disaster response is also among their tasks. Participants are in charge of emergency programmes within their organisations and, thus, are well placed to assume the role of national multiplier in emergencies.

The regional emergency groups focus on small- to medium-scale natural disasters at the local, national or regional level. As an example, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania were fully supported by SEECEG during the floods of 2014. The same group also set up an appropriate space for discussion about the situation of thousands of migrants stranded on the Balkan route since the 2016 EU-Turkey deal.

The increasing complexity of crises and the need for more transparency and accountability require appropriate administrative procedures, as well as respect of international humanitarian standards. Regional groups actively engage on these aspects and organise internal trainings to stay up-to-date.

Both groups were set up with the support of Caritas Germany. Started in 2008, SEECEG is composed of Caritas staff from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. EECCEG was launched in 2011 by Caritas Armenia, Caritas Azerbaijan and Caritas Georgia. Caritas South Russia, Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Belarus joined at a later stage.