Intergroup Welcomes Mandate of EU Special Envoy and Calls for Inclusive and Global Approach

The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB&RT) welcomes the fact that with his statement of 26 September, there is now clarity on the mandate of the EU Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU. The intergroup had asked for this type of clarification ever since the announcement was made about the appointment of Dr. Jan Figel as the EU Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU.

The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB&RT) welcomes the fact that with his statement of 26 September, there is now clarity on the mandate of the EU Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU. The intergroup had asked for this type of clarification ever since the announcement was made about the appointment of Dr. Jan Figel as the EU Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU.

Co-Chair of the Intergroup Dennis de Jong:

́It is encouraging to see that the Special Envoy sees it as his mission to help in ensuring that FoRB&RT is strategically incorporated in EU ́s external relations. In this respect, I hope that the Special Envoy will not only concentrate on the Middle East, but will take a more global approach. I am particularly happy to note that the Commission and the EEAS will be working closely together in this respect and thus will join forces. We must continue to promote and protect the rights of all religious or belief groups, be they theistic, non-theistic or atheistic, as mentioned in the EU Guidelines on FoRB ́.

Vice-Chair Miltiadis Kyrkos MEP added:

“I welcome the Special Envoy’s recognition of the FoRB&RT report in the context of his mandate. The Intergroup puts a lot of time and effort into the quality of the report of which it constantly tries to improve providing clear examples of religious minorities that are persecuted in the world but equally highlighting the several cases where secular, humanist and non-theistic groups are targeted. Indeed we must promote further inter-institutional collaboration to ensure FoRB&RT is not forsaken by delegations when assessing human rights abuses in the world.”

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Newsletter #4