The aim of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe – Federation of European Scouting – is clearly expressed in the item 1.2.1. of its Federal Statutes, where it is written that the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. “aims at gathering, in one same community of faith, prayer and action, the various national associations of the European Guides and Scouts, the fundamental objective of which is to educate young people by using Baden Powell’s traditional scouting methods, based on the Christian values at the roots of our common European civilisation”..
The U.IG.S.E.-F.S.E. wants to contribute to youth’s religious, moral, civic and physical formation, through the practice of the scout method, according to Lord Baden Powell, the founder of scouting, in the tradition of Catholic scouting launched by father Sevin, the Earl di Carpegna and Professor Corbisier.
The Federation considers scouting as a means of apostolate within the Church; nevertheless, it does not see the use of the scout method as an end in itself but as an instrument for the formation of authentic men and women, inserted in a supernatural way in which they apply evangelic values at the service of the world.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. gathers scout associations of Catholic confession. It acts and makes decisions according to the rules of this faith.
However, with an open mind towards ecumenism, the U.I.G.S.E-F.SE. also welcomes associations from other Christian confessions, according to the conditions settled by the Religious Directory. The intangible rule of the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is not to gather in the same units boys or girls of different confessions.
In this ecumenical perspective, the use of the term F.S.E., rather than U.I.G.S.E. or U.I.G.S.E-F.S.E., has been maintained in some associations because this abbreviation means something wider to the Evangelic and Orthodox communities belonging to the Federation.
All associations federated by the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. practise traditional scouting, on the bases settled by Baden Powell, in a Christian interpretation; they fully welcome the inheritance of the founders of Catholic scouting: Father Jacques Sevin, the Earl Mario di Carpegna, Professor Jean Corbisier. The text of the Law, of the Promise, of the Principle and the Ceremonial belong to this inheritance.
The Charter of natural and Christian principles of European Scouting, the Religious Directory, the Federal Statutes, define the main lines on which the scouting practised by the associations of the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is founded.
So the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is an educational movement aiming at forming good Christians and good citizens, considering in youth:
- Christian formation,
- Formation of character and personality,
- Sense of concrete things and manual ability,
- Physical development through simple life in the open air,
- Sense of charity towards the neighbour and preparation to social and civic life.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. considers male scouting and female guiding as two different experiences and applications of the same educational scout method. Above all for educational reasons and in order to respect everyone’s vocation, the associations of Guides and Scouts of Europe welcome boys and girls in different units, with separated activities for the two sexes. Each association of Guides and Scouts of Europe is a unique movement in its spirit and its management, but it excludes any promiscuity in the units. By avoiding artificial separations, it even considers that the education of boys and girls must take place in different structures, in which it is possible to foresee some meeting moments.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. wants to keep with other associations, or federations, or scout and guide movements, be they Catholic or not, correct and fraternal relationships to work together and build a fairer and more fraternal society, according to Baden Powell’s spirit and within the context of their specific educational project.