Report from Pax Christi International's EU event on “Nonviolence as a Style of Politics for Peace”


by Alice Kooij Martinez,
Senior Advocacy Officer

Last Friday, Pax Christi International organized a lively EU panel discussion on ‘Nonviolence, as a style for politics for peace’ at its Brussels office. Its aim was to further build on Pope Francis’s 2017 World Day of Peace Message calling for a renewed culture of nonviolence to inform global politics today.

The speakers participating in the panel discussion were from a variety of backgrounds (grassroots, policy, research) and spoke about the potential as well as challenges regarding nonviolent strategies and tools in responding to conflicts in the world, especially making the link with EU policies. The panel of speakers included the following persons:

  • Ms. Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International
  • Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira, lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at St. Paul’s University, Nairobi, and board member of Pax Christi International
  • Ms. Canan Gündüz, Mediation Advisor at the EU External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Koops, Dean of Vesalius College, Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Director of the Global Governance Institute (GGI)
  • Moderator: Ms. Pat Gaffney, Coordinator of Pax Christi UK

During the panel discussion, the effectiveness of nonviolence as a method for conflict prevention and peacebuilding was discussed. Also, the strong commitment and expertise of Pax Christi International members regarding nonviolent approaches around the world, such as the grassroots examples given of the African context, were explored.

With regard to the EU it was set out that there are strong elements of nonviolence in EU legal treaties and political documents. Its core task is to preserve peace and avoid conflicts and the EU is an international ally for nonviolent action. However, amongst others, it was discussed that necessary commitment and resources are needed.

You can find information about our panel discussion through these communication channels:

Moreover, in the June edition of Europeinfos, newsletter of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU and the Jesuit European Office, an article will be published about the panel discussion.


This panel discussion was organized in light of our advocacy priority Nonviolence, a style of politics for peace. Find out more.



nonviolence, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, Pope Francis, Joachim Koops, Marie Dennis, Wachuyu Wachira, Canan Gunduz, EU