European Interreligious Forum For Religious Freedom
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EIFRF meeting with URI in Plovdiv, Bulgaria for interfaith conference
URI (United Religions Initiative) Europe (http://www.uri-europe.eu/) organized a conference in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on the theme "Moving Interfaith Work Forward".

EIFRF, which is a cooperation circle of URI, participated to the conference from april 23 to April 26. 

Many work sessions were organized, and also a visit of the mosque of Plovdiv, welcomed by the Mufti of the mosque.

URI is celebrating this year 15 years of existence, with more than 600 Cooperation Circles all over the world. A Cooperation Circle is made of at least 7 individuals (some have thousands), from at least 3 different faiths. EIFRF is one of them. URI is a supported network connecting people across religions and cultures in the service of peace and justice.

More than 50 representatives of URI Europe Cooperation Circles participated to the conference and seminars, and also Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, URI Executive Director. EIFRF chairman Eric Roux represented EIFRF.

This multifaith event gathered Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, Jews, Sufis, Scientologists, Baha'is, atheists, agnostics, pagans, and others from all over Europe all together to address peace and justice issues for more than 3 days.

Rédigé par EIFRF le Monday, April 27th 2015 | Comments (0)

Conférence "Laïcité et liberté de croyance, quel avenir pour la spécificité française ?" (avec vidéos)

Le 18 décembre 2014, EIFRF a organisée une conférence intitulée "Laicité et liberté de croyance, quel avenir pour la spécificité française ?", au Club de l'Assemblée à Paris.

 

Une cinquantaine de personnes étaient présentes, responsables religieux, journalistes du fait religieux, ambassadeurs, avocats ou simples curieux. 

 

Accueillant les intervenants, Eric Roux, président d'EIFRF, a présenté la conférence en rappelant : "La laïcité est un thème récurrent plein de tension, et on ne sait pas si la laïcité aujourd'hui est synonyme de liberté de croyance, ou si ce sont des soeurs ennemies éternellement irréconciliables."

 

Il a ensuite donné la parole au modérateur du premier panel, le docteur en droit, avocat et sociologue des religions Dominique Kounkou, lui-même membre du comité d'orientation d'EIFRF. Ce dernier a commencé par rendre hommage à Emile Poulat, décédé le 22 novembre dernier : "Je voudrais rendre hommage à un grand professeur qui nous a quitté très récemment, Emile Poulat, qui était là au moment où tout le monde avait peur de s'afficher quand il s'agissait de parler de liberté religieuse, et je me rappelle que le premier colloque que nous avions organisé sur les discriminations religieuses en France, c'est lui qui l'avait présidé. Emile Poulat a beaucoup écrit sur la laïcité. Souvent les grands chercheurs écrivent, mais ne s'engagent pas. Lui a fait les deux."

 

Après avoir présenté les conférenciers, Dominique a donné la parole à Vincent Berger, ancien Jurisconsulte de la Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme, à laquelle il a participé pendant trente-cinq ans, avant de récemment endosser la robe de l'avocat. Vincent Berger a fait un tour d'horizon de la jurisprudence européenne en matière de liberté religieuse, avant de conclure par ces mots : "La Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme a toujours veillé à ce qu'il y ait un équilibre, une neutralité, presque bienveillante de l'Etat, vis à vis des communautés religieuses, tout en admettant que des états aient des religions d'Etat, des Eglises d'Etat, et même que des états soient liés par des concordats avec le Saint-siège, qui vont lui donner certains avantages dont ne vont pas bénéficier d'autres communautés religieuses. Il y a donc toute cette diversité européenne qui va être respectée par la Cour."

 

Guillaume Déderen, Maitre des requêtes au Conseil d'Etat, a ensuite développé le concept de laïcité tel qu'il est conçu par le législateur et interprété par le Conseil d'Etat. Dans le début de son exposé, Guillaume Déderen explique : "La laïcité est une notion qu'il est périlleux de manier, c'est que que disait Jean Ribero : "le mot sent encore la poudre". Evidemment il faisait allusion à une époque où la laïcité était, comme on a pu l'écrire pour la sociologie, un "sport de combat". Le 4 mai 1877, pour nous cela parait très loin, Gambetta montait à la tribune pour s'écrier "le cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi !". Alors on croyait les passions qui avaient accompagné l'émergence de la laïcité apaisées avec le temps, mais finalement elles résonnent toujours aussi vivement dans la sphère publique. On peut toujours s'étonner de ces passions. On s'en étonnerait moins si on se rappelait comme le fait Jean Baubérot,  que la laïcité en France est issu du choc de quatre ingrédients. Le premier : le combat du Roi contre le pouvoir ecclésiastique. Le second : la dissociation en rupture avec le fameux principe latin "cujus regio ejus religio", c'est à dire la dissociation entre l'appartenance nationale et l'appartenance religieuse, depuis l'Edit de Nantes en 1598. Troisièmement, l'impossibilité d'un pluralisme religieux qui soit pacifique, et quatrièmement la critique des dogmes avec la philosophie des Lumières. Bref, la laïcité se trouve prise dans une queue de comète d'affrontements permanents entre le pouvoir séculier et la sphère religieuse."

Puis, pour conclure sur les voies de "solutions" aux tensions nées d'une laïcité exacerbée ou mal comprise : "Il y a deux voies qui mériteraient d'être plus explorées qu'elles ne le sont actuellement. La première serait celle de la concertation entre les pouvoirs publics et les communautés religieuses, chacun devant prendre sa part dans la résolution des problèmes, en travaillant dans un esprit d'ouverture et de dialogue. La deuxième, c'est l'importance des instruments de ce qu'on appelle le droit souple…"

 

Après une demi-heure de questions-réponses avec la salle, le deuxième panel, modéré par Eric Roux, a commencé. 

 

Sophie Gherardi, journaliste et directrice de fait-religieux.com, a rappelé : "Il faut constamment lutter, y compris chez des gens de bonne volonté comme nous sommes, pour ne pas mettre d'huile sur le feu, car même parfois sans le faire exprès, on peut contribuer à mettre de l'huile sur le feu. Donc il faut constamment faire très attention à la façon dont on traite les sujets. (…) Les musulmans sont là et ils font partie de la France. Une laïcité qui cacherait une détestation ou une peur de l'Islam, eh bien comment veut-on qu'une partie de notre jeunesse, car l'Islam est très jeune, s'identifie au pacte laïc qui fait partie de l'héritages importants de notre république, s'ils considèrent qu'elle est en fait une machine de guerre contre eux. C'est un grave problème.(…) Il y a quelque chose en France, justement dans notre tradition catholique très unitaire, qui fait que nous ne sommes pas du tout à l'aise, d'abord avec la multiplicité protestante, qui est celle que nous avons découverte en premier. La façon qu'ont les protestants à se diviser entre eux en de plus en plus de religions jusqu'à apparaitre comme des sectes, a mis la France catholique mal à l'aise depuis longtemps. Et quand en plus, le protestantisme et ses différentes variantes sont revenues sous la forme américaine, alors là, ça ne va plus du tout. Les religions qui sont considérées comme des importations américaines heurtent un sentiment profond en France, ce qui fait que le mormonisme ou la scientologie sont regardés avec plus de méfiance que par exemple le bouddhisme. Mais le droit n'a rien à dire là-dessus, même si il y a des cas où le juge est peut-être plus sévère avec ces formes de religion…"

 

Le dernier intervenant, Asif Arif, avocat, chargé d'enseignement à l'Université Paris-Dauphine et directeur du site d'information culture-et-croyance.com, a partagé sa vision de ce que pourrait être une laïcité d'avenir, une post-laïcité inclusive et adaptée à la société française d'aujourd'hui, tout en respectant les principes de la loi de 1905. Il a dit notamment : "Si il y a une question véritablement de violence via une obligation de porter le voile, la problématique ne doit pas être résolue à travers les questions de laïcité. Elle doit être résolue à travers des questions pénales. On n'arrête pas de confondre laïcité et problématiques de foyer familial, problématiques conjugales, mais ça n'a rien à voir. (…) La laïcité j'y crois, mais je pense qu'aujourd'hui, nous ne sommes plus dans la laïcité au sens de 1905, mais dans une post-laïcité. Il ne s'agit pas de remettre en cause les fondements de la loi de 1905, ni de se brouiller avec cette loi républicaine qui est centrale pour tous les français, mais cette idée de post-laïcité voudrait dire qu'il faut revoir la notion de laïcité avec le paysage religieux d'aujourd'hui en France."

 


Rédigé par EIFRF le Thursday, April 16th 2015 | Comments (0)

COMMUNIQUE – 25 mars 2015


Départementales en France : la branche française du Forum Européen Interreligieux pour la Liberté de Religion s’inquiète
Acteur engagé pour la liberté de religion en France, le Forum Européen Interreligieux pour la Liberté de Religion s’inquiète du regain des tensions autour du fait religieux lors de l’entre deux tours des départementales en France.

Nous constatons que différents acteurs publics continuent de diluer dans leurs discours un mépris vis-à-vis des religions et ont tendance à préférer une laïcité agressive et d’exclusion plutôt qu’une véritable France du dialogue et du vivre ensemble, héritière de l’esprit de la loi de 1905. Notre Forum condamne fermement l’ensemble des propos qui sont tenus visant à exclure une partie de la population française et de la discriminer.

Les menus de substitution, par exemple, qui n’ont jamais posé de problème, font aujourd’hui l’objet de débats totalement ubuesques qui aboutissement à une instrumentalisation des enfants. Nous ne pouvons pas séparer nos populations de confessions juive et musulmane des autres pour la simple raison qu’ils ont une pratique alimentaire différente. Il s’agit, aux yeux de notre Forum, d’une intolérance et d’une violation de la Déclaration sur l'élimination de toutes les formes d'intolérance et de discrimination fondées sur la religion ou la conviction des Nations Unies ainsi que de la Déclaration de principes sur la tolérance de l’UNESCO. C’est aussi la mauvaise réponse à apporter à la cristallisation des tensions et des craintes parfois légitimes nées des tragédies dues à la radicalisation et au terrorisme qui ont touché le monde ces derniers mois.

Nous devons absolument revenir à l’esprit de la loi de 1905 qui ne consiste pas à tenter de neutraliser les religions mais à en assurer la sécurité et à garantir la protection de l’exercice du culte en privé ou en public.
 
Asif Arif
Secrétaire Général
asifarif.avocat@gmail.com

Rédigé par EIFRF le Wednesday, March 25th 2015 | Comments (0)

The All Faiths network is a sister organization of EIFRF in UK.


Video All Faiths Network: Who is My Neighbour? an Interfaith Encounter

Dear Friend in Interfaith

Thank you to all the guests who came and participated in our recent meeting "Who is My Neighbour?: A Multifaith Response to Critical Issues for the General Election", on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2015.

We will shortly be releasing a full video of the event, and all the speeches and discussions we had on the day. In the meantime, we thought you would like to see the excellent summary video of the event produced by Revd Dr Kevin Snyman, from the All Faiths Network Board of Advisors, and narrated by Martin Weightman, the Director of the All Faiths Network, which is available on YouTube here:
 

 


Rédigé par EIFRF le Tuesday, March 24th 2015 | Comments (0)

Communiqué de la branche française du European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom. 14 mars 2015


Communiqué : EIFRF se réjouit de la décision de la Cour Constitutionnelle d’Allemagne
Vendredi 13 mars 2015, La cour suprême allemande, Cour Constitutionnelle de Karlsruhe, a rendu une décision surprenante. Alors qu’en 2003 elle avait formellement permis aux Länder d’interdire légalement aux enseignantes musulmanes de porter le voile à l’école, elle revient sur sa position aujourd’hui.
 
La Cour Constitutionnelle a décidé que l’interdiction de porter le voile pour les enseignantes musulmanes créait une discrimination entre ceux et celles qui pouvaient porter une croix et celles qui souhaitaient arborer le voile. La seule limite imposée par la Cour Constitutionnelle étant que le port du voile ne doit porter atteinte à la « paix scolaire », une restriction qui devra se fonder sur un « danger concret ».
 
Cette jurisprudence tout à fait inédite signe une avancée pour la démocratie allemande ainsi que pour la liberté de religion en Europe en règle générale. Avec les récents évènements, notre Forum soulignait l’impressionnante augmentation des actes islamophobes et antisémites.
 
A quelques mois seulement des manifestations islamophobes en Allemagne, les juridictions allemandes ont démontré qu’elles ne souhaitent pas laisser la haine s’instaurer dans leur pays démocratique. Notre Forum ne peut que se réjouir d’une décision qui fait avancer les droits fondamentaux et ne se concentre pas sur des futilités qui sont contre-productives.
 
Très prochainement, le Forum organisera une rencontre autour de ces thèmes.
 
Asif Arif
Secrétaire Général
 
Contact :
asifarif.avocat@gmail.com

Rédigé par EIFRF le Saturday, March 14th 2015 | Comments (3)

The Human Rights Council started its interactive dialogue with Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, on March 10 in Geneva. Kazakhstan and Viet Nam were the concerned countries.


Kazakhstan - UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief releases his report
In his report on Kazakhstan, the Special Rapporteur starts with his general observations in that way:

"A.    A society characterized by religious pluralism

2.    Interlocutors from the Government and civil society repeatedly pointed out that Kazakhstan, in spite of its rich and long history, is still a young nation. Since its independence in 1991, it has seen rapid and far-reaching transformations, including an unprecedented pace of economic growth, the establishment of new State agencies, the development of numerous civil society organizations, the further unfolding of ethnic, cultural and religious pluralism and a revival of religious life, epitomized inter alia in a number of impressive new religious buildings. 

3.    Religious pluralism is a hallmark of Kazakh society traceable to far back in history and perhaps even to pre-history. Many people with whom the Special Rapporteur discussed this issue praised the culture of religious tolerance that has existed in the country since time immemorial. Some also mentioned specifically the country’s “nomadic” traditions of hospitality and openness towards others. Today, two big confessions — Sunni Islam (of the Hanafi school) and Russian Orthodox Christianity — shape the religious landscape, together with a number of smaller communities. While Muslims constitute a majority of approximately 70 per cent of the population, Russian Orthodox Christians are estimated to amount to almost 25 per cent. Smaller communities include Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, New Apostolic Church, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Shias, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Baha’is, Buddhists, Scientologists and Hare Krishna adherents. One should not forget that there are possibly also a high number of atheists and agnostics or people who do not care much about religious beliefs and identities. While some of the above-mentioned communities have existed in Kazakhstan for centuries, others arrived in more recent times. The Special Rapporteur noticed broad agreement that the relationship between the various religious communities is generally a positive one. Incidents of interreligious clashes seem to be very rare, and people mostly appreciate religious diversity as something quite natural to Kazakhstan. 

4.    However, this generally positive attitude does not equally include members of non-traditional communities. According to a survey conducted by the Agency for Religious Affairs, the population generally displays different degrees of acceptance towards traditional and non-traditional religious communities. Members of communities perceived as “non-traditional” reported that they sometimes faced societal scepticism, suspicion and discrimination. For instance, they might encounter difficulties when trying to rent a building or room to gather the community or to hold services. Although government representatives mostly avoided the terms “traditional” and “non-traditional” when discussing this theme — except in the context of summits of religious leaders regularly convened in Kazakhstan — no one denied that adverse attitudes existed towards religious groups perceived as standing outside of the country’s traditional mosaic. Moreover, widespread fear of religious extremism, often associated with certain currents of Islam, and worries about the influence of “sects” generally associated with small non-traditional groups pose challenges to the climate of religious tolerance that largely prevails in the society."


Then here are his recommendations:

"VII. Conclusions and recommendations

1.     Representatives of the Government repeatedly emphasized that Kazakhstan had embarked on a process of rapid and far-reaching transformation. The country aspires to fully using its potential as a “bridge” between different geographical and cultural areas and between international and regional organizations. Domestically, reforms are under way, including in the law. In this context, the Special Rapporteur heard encouraging expressions of commitment to further developing the culture of peaceful inter-ethnic and interreligious coexistence that has largely shaped the history of the country. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has seen a revitalization of religious life, inter alia embodied in the construction of impressive religious buildings.

2.     The Agency for Religious Affairs, which was established in 2011 as a central governmental body responsible for carrying out State regulation of religious affairs in the country, plays an active role in managing religious diversity both  nationally and regionally. Much of its activity, such as the facilitation of interreligious gatherings, meets with the approval of many representatives of religious communities, including minority communities. At the same time, the 2011 Law on Religious Activity and Religious Associations shows restrictive features that are not in line with international standards of freedom of religion or belief. The most obvious problem concerns the mandatory status of official registration. Failure to obtain this status means that a religious community is deemed “illegal”, which has far-reaching negative repercussions on the enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief. Moreover, even those communities which are registered suffer to some extent from legal insecurity, inter alia due to the official confinement of permitted religious activities to certain predefined issues and territorial boundaries. In general, the 2011 Law is based on the assumption that the exercise of core aspects of freedom of religion depends on specific acts of Government approval — thereby turning the relationship between freedom and limitations, as generally understood in the framework of human rights, upside down.

3.     While Kazakhstan has broadly embraced religious pluralism, members of non-traditional small religious communities, frequently branded as “sects”, continue to experience suspicion, mistrust and discrimination in society. Moreover, some provisions of the Criminal Code and of the Code on Administrative Offences — both the existing and the new Codes — which are aimed at combating religious hatred or religious extremism — are defined only vaguely, thus creating a climate of legal insecurity, which is further exacerbated by shortcomings in the handling of criminal procedures, long pretrial detention and related problems. Similar problems are associated with the 2005 Law on Countering Extremism.

4.     So far, information about religion plays a limited role in public school education. The textbooks used for that purpose contain problematic language and  generally a warning tone with regard to non-traditional religious movements. Some initiatives taken towards broadening “religious literacy” in society may positively empower people to make up their own minds in the area of religion or belief.

5.     Against this background, the Special Rapporteur would like to make the following recommendations: 

(a)     A public debate on the meaning of secularism in Kazakhstan should help to overcome the currently predominant restrictive interpretation according to which secularism serves as a tool for confining manifestations of freedom of religion or belief to predefined strictly monitored territorial boundaries. Based on freedom of religion or belief for everyone, a secular constitution should provide space for the unfolding of the existing and emerging religious pluralism in society, free from fear and free from discrimination. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government consider amending the relevant provisions of the Constitution to bring them into line with article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this context, an open discussion on an inclusive understanding of secularism might also help to overcome restrictive attitudes within the administration and within law-enforcement agencies. 

(b)     The Government should bring its constitutional provisions pertinent to freedom of religion or belief fully into line with article 18 of the Covenant and other relevant international human rights standards.

(c)     The Government is currently preparing the Fifth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The Special Rapporteur would encourage those in charge of organizing the event to move beyond the confines of traditional religions and also invite representatives of other communities. Besides the usually male leaders, women should play an active role in the dialogue, including feminist theologians of different denominations. This could serve as a signal to further broaden the understanding and acceptance of diversity within society.

(d)     Above all, the Special Rapporteur would like to recommend far-reaching reforms of the 2011 Law on Religious Activity and Religious Associations based on an understanding that registration should be in the service of freedom of religion or belief which, due to its status as a universal human right, inheres in all human beings, prior to — and independent of — any specific acts of administrative approval. The most important consequence would be that registration should be an offer, not a mandatory requirement, for religious community practice. Non-registered communities must be able to operate free from discrimination and free from fear of intimidation.

(e)     Registration of those religious communities who wish to obtain the respective status position should be undertaken in a spirit of servicing freedom of religion or belief. Procedures should be quick, transparent, fair und without undue bureaucratic complications. Decisions on issues regarding the status of  registrations must never reflect the standpoint of a competing religious group.

(f)      Thresholds for registration at different levels (local, regional and national) should be defined in such a way that minorities can fully operate throughout the country. The requirement of registering missionary activities, as well as the practice of licensing the importation and distribution of religious literature, should also be generally overhauled. Representatives of religious communities and civil society organizations working in this field should be consulted throughout this process.

(g)     When amending the 2011 Law on Religious Activity and Religious Associations, particular attention should also be given to the need of religious communities to socialize the younger generation, which requires an adequate infrastructure of educational institutions. Private religious schools and similar institutions must be able to function freely and without undue administrative stipulations.

(h)     Religious communities should be able to offer humanitarian or charitable services for their followers and/or for the larger society.

(i)      Those religious or belief communities which, for whatever reasons, do not have the status of a recognized religious community, or do not wish to obtain this status, should have viable options to obtain an alternative form of legal personality status that would allow them to carry out important community functions in a suitable manner.

(j)      Overly broad definitions of offences concerning religious discord and extremism, which may negatively impact on freedom of religion or belief in conjunction with freedom of expression, should be replaced by clear and narrow definitions. This concerns both the Criminal Code and the Code on Administrative Offences, as well as the 2005 Law on Countering Extremism. After the adoption (in July 2014) of a new Criminal Code and a new Code on Administrative Offences, reforms aimed at more clarity are still needed. The Rabat Plan of Action (put into effect by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2012) can provide practical guidance in this regard.

(k)     The Special Rapporteur would like to encourage the Ministry of Education to further develop the programmes on religious information for students, also beyond grade 9. School education plays a pivotal role in promoting a climate of religious tolerance. The Special Rapporteur also commends initiatives which recently have been taken for the promotion of “religious literacy” in the population at large.

(l)      The Government should discontinue anti-sect campaigns that stoke negative stereotypes against new religious movements. Information provided on religious beliefs and communities, in particular in the context of school education, must be fair and precise. In this context, the Special Rapporteur commends the Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions or Beliefs in Public Schools, which were drawn up by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 

(m)   The Government should further strengthen the national and regional infrastructure of human rights protection; for instance, by establishing regional offices of the Ombudsman’s institution. 

(n)     The Special Rapporteur shares the view expressed by many interlocutors that abiding strictly by the principles of rule of law creates the best conditions for combating the scourges of religious hatred and religious extremism, since a clear reliance on rule of law helps to build trust within society and between State agencies and the population at large.

(o)     Trust-building measures are also contained in the Rabat Plan of Action. It would be useful for the Government to broadly consult with civil society organizations, media, religious communities and other stakeholders on how best to apply the Rabat Plan of Action to the specific situation of Kazakhstan."


You can find the full report here:
http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpNewsByYear_en)/83AFDCB3CAA04817C1257E04004F25C5?OpenDocument 

Rédigé par EIFRF le Friday, March 13th 2015 | Comments (0)

Press release - The report however neglects to mention a wider range of religious or belief groups


European Parliament Intergroup welcomes the adoption of EP human rights report and Emergency Resolution on attacks against Assyrians

The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of its Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy and the Emergency Resolution on 'Recent attacks and abductions by Daesh in the Middle East, notably of Assyrians' in the Strasbourg plenary session.
 

The chapter on freedom of religion or belief in the Annual Human Rights and Democracy report and the Emergency Resolution reinforces the Parliament's commitment to protecting religious or belief minorities in the world. Intergroup Co-President Dennis De Jong said 'I welcome the report and the emergency resolution which clearly set out the Parliament's position in regards to FoRB and contain recommendations for the European External Action Service (EEAS) on mainstreaming human rights and freedom of religion or belief in EU foreign policy.'
 

The report included for the third consecutive year a detailed section on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Although the Intergroup is pleased to see the inclusion of paragraphs on persecution of religious or belief minorities by ISIS, Christian persecution and the continued systemic human rights violations of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the Intergroup is concerned by the omission of the persecution of other religious or belief minorities such as Baha’is, Hindus, atheists and other religious or belief minorities. The Intergroup reiterates that freedom of religion or belief is one and the same right for all.
 

The inclusion of the section on FoRB was in part due to the amendments tabled by the Intergroup which were supported by other Members of European Parliament. In particular the Intergroup amendments included calling for the 'High Representative/Vice President and the EEAS to engage in a permanent dialogue with NGOs, religious or belief groups and religious leaders' and for the European Union (EU) to promote ' freedom of religion or belief within international and regional fora including the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe (CoE) and other regional mechanisms.' Intergroup Co-President Peter van Dalen added 'The inclusion of these important amendments highlight the importance of the Conference of Presidents decision to upgrade the Working Group to an Intergroup and the significant role the Intergroup can play in promoting FoRB from within the European Parliament.' 
 

At the same the Intergroup expressed disappointment that two of its amendments were not accepted, notably an appeal for the ‘the EEAS and Member States to involve representatives from the European Parliament and from civil society in FoRB trainings’ and for ‘the EEAS to establish a horizontal focal point for religion or belief matters.’ Both amendments were recommended by the European Parliament Working Group on FoRB in its 2013 annual report. 
 

Although these amendments were not approved, the Intergroup will continue to promote these recommendations in future reports and resolutions of the Parliament

 

Alfiaz Vaiya

Secretariat

Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance 

Tel: +32 (0) 471661381

Email: Alfiaz.VAIYA@europarl.europa.eu  

a.vaiya@religiousfreedom.eu

www.religiousfreedom.eu  


Rédigé par EP Intergroup on FoRB le Friday, March 13th 2015 | Comments (0)

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