On the 3rd of May, during the Strasbourg plenary, the European Parliament voted on a resolution that we have been waiting for a long time, the INI report on the persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion written by Karol Karski.

The report – approved by a large majority – had many positive points and the intergroup has worked actively to further improve it during the plenary session, proposing amendments and split votes on key paragraphs.

However, there were difficulties and the report is a missed opportunity due to the lack of references to the persecution of religious minorities and the perpetrators of this persecution.

The co-presidents of the intergroup comment: “The resolution on the persecution of religious minorities, approved today by the plenary of the European Parliament, could be a very strong signal on a subject on which the European institutions often appear too timid. However, we deplore that the names of individuals and organizations who have been persecuted on the basis of their religion have been omitted from the report.”

Back in March, the Intergroup had just published its report, which outlined the state of the art on religious persecution. The report highlighted 10 countries where religious freedom was being progressively and dangerously curtailed.

The mere mention of the report might therefore have implemented the already important work done with the initial report, which – the co-presidents recall – has the merit of having stated that freedom of belief as a fundamental human right and the fact that it is essential to include respect for this right in cooperation agreements between the EU and third countries also, it includes the positive invitation to the EU Commission to immediately appoint a Special Envoy for Religious Freedom, a figure that has been missing for too long.

Therefore, the hope is that the report can be the beginning for the diffusion of a culture supportive of religious freedom, which protects believers and atheists, and that the intergroup can – in the future – play an increasingly prominent role in the activities of the parliament.

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