Events Calendar

Euractiv organises policy events (hybrid, virtual, in-person) in Brussels and other European capitals.

Euractiv Events

Freedom of religion or belief beyond the EU borders


Freedom of religion or belief beyond the EU borders

Religious freedom is one of the most essential human rights, enshrined solidly in international law. Being part of EU primary law, the EU has committed to promote and protect religious freedom worldwide.

However, according to the Pew Research Center, about three-quarters of the world’s population live in countries with high or very high restrictions or social hostilities to religious minorities. This decade has also witnessed a rise in religion-related terrorism, with some regions being more affected than others, which has also led to armed conflict and sectarian violence.

To answer to this global problem, Commission President Juncker appointed in May 2016 Ján Figel as the first Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union. After running one year the mandate was renewed until 2018, however the power of the Special Envoy remains limited.

EURACTIV invites you to this stakeholder workshop to discuss the freedom of religion and belief outside the EU. Questions will include:

- How can the inclusion of all religious minorities be ensured?

- Should the mandate of the Special Envoy be renewed and if so, should his/her position be strengthened?

- Is the current institutional set-up suitable to guarantee the promotion and protection of freedom of religion and belief?

See below a statement from ADF's Sophia Kuby:

Supported by:


Euractiv Network Office
Boulevard Charlemagne 1, 1041 Brussels

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Ján Figel, Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU
Mercedes García Pérez, Head of Division - Human Rights, European External Action Service
Lars Adaktusson MEP, Vice-Chair, European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance
Sandra Melone, Executive Vice President, Search for Common Ground
Sophia Kuby, Director of European Union advocacy, ADF International

With a video statement by Knox Thames, Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South / Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C


12:00 – 12:30 Registration
12:30 – 13:00 Introduction and impulse statements
13:00 – 14:00 Open debate