The International League of Religious Socialists will organize her triennial conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Central topic of the conference is Europe as a values community. Strengthening the social democratic movement. Currently, all over Europe social-democratic parties are in a difficult position. In the meantime, also Europe and European cooperation is under stress. Europe has been politicized fiercely over the last decade, especially by populist movements that willingly undercut the foundations of European cooperation. European social-democracy is in desperate need of a new narrative on Europe in order to revive its policy as well as its electoral attraction.

In order to fuel the debate on this new narrative on Europe, social democratic key values such as democracy, freedom, equality, peace and justice are in need of a thorough revision against the backdrop of key issues of contemporary Europe.

Central goal of the conference could be to compose a declaration in order to underline the importance of a discussion on the key values of the European social-democratic movement and the potential input in this discussion from religious and moral perspectives that historically have had a great influence on the social-democratic movement. We wish to stress the importance of these perspectives and offer the leadership of the Party of European Socialists (PES) our help in furthering the debate on a new narrative on a progressive Europe.


The conference is open for participation and starts with a public event on Thursday-evening (full program see below). Attendance is free. On Friday, we discuss three key issues in the contemporary political debate on Europe: the importance of values for the future of Europe, migration and climate change. On Saturday morning, we will wrap-up discussions in order to compose the closing statement.

To cover the cost for lunch, diner and drinks, we kindly ask participants for a conference fee of 75 euro’s, to be payed after registration. For attending Friday only, the fee is 50 euro, for Saturday only 25 euro.

To register for the conference: follow this link. All questions can be directed to Maarten van den Bos ( If needed, assistance can be provided with making reservations of accommodation in Utrecht. Note that the cost of accommodation are not covered by the conference fee.

Full Program

18.30-19.15 Welcome and registration.
19.15-19.30 Opening and welcome.
19.30-20.15 Keynote lecture by prof. dr. Frank VandenBroucke; on a social Europe after the economic crisis.
20.15-20.45 Response by dr. Paul Tang and prof. dr. Klara Boonstra.
20.45-21.30 Discussion.
21.30-22.00 Drinks.

09.30-10.00 Welcome with coffee
10.00-10.15 Opening by conference chair
10.15-12.15 Session 1: European values as the foundation and future of European cooperation. With dr. Robin de Bruin and prof. dr. Erik Borgman.
12.15-13.30 Lunch.
13.30-15.30 Session 2: Migration as key issue of the future. With prof. dr. Henk van Houtum and Marjanne de Haan.
15.30-16.00 Coffee break.
16.00-18.00 Session 3: Climate change as key issue. With dr. Shivant Jhagroe and Jan Vos.
18.00 Drinks and dinner

09.30-10.00 Welcome with coffee
10.00-11.30 Discussion on final statement.
11.13-13.00 Representative assembly of the ILRS.
13.00 Lunch and farewell


The conference will be held in the center of Utrecht, on walking distance from Utrecht Central Station. Location is Zaalverhuur7, Boothstraat 7, Utrecht.