From the European Federation for Freedom or Belief
Practicing What We Preach in Europe
Last 28th of June at Brussels in the premises of the prestigious Solvay Library at the European Parliament the Faith and Freedom Summit 2018 was successfully held.
Speakers and participants from several countries attended a packed one-day conference that covered the many aspects of the protection of freedom of religion and belief in Europe and its challenges in the modern society.
The relevance and importance of this summit was to ponder and focus on the problems experienced by religious and spirituality groups and by their members in Europe with an eye on the obligations on States to promote and implement their freedom of religion and belief in accordance with the international human rights standards.
There have been several speeches and interesting round tables in which eminent scholars, professors, lawyers and activists have masterfully elaborated on issues ranging from the problems experienced by individuals and groups and the activities of NGOs and the initiatives taken by politicians in this field in Europe and the legal implications between law and religion.
Speakers included, among others, Vincent Berger, notorious jurist and academician who served in the role of Jurisconsult of the European Court of Human Rights for 37 years, Congressman Bob McEwen, Former Member, American Delegation to the European Parliament, Jan Figel, EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union, Amjad Bashir MEP, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament, Salvatore Martinez, representative of the presidency of OSCE, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Patricia Duval, Human Rights lawyer in Paris, Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on human rights to UN Human Rights Council, Bashy Quraishy, Secretary General of EMISCO, Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Eric Roux, president of EIFRF, European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom, Martin Weightman, director of the All Faiths Network, Marco Ventura, Professor of Law & Religion at University of Siena, Ivan Arjona Pelado, director of the European and Human Rights Office of the Church of Scientology, Hans Noot, director of the Gerard Noodt Foundation, Greg Mitchell, co-Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable, Thomas Schirrmacher, president of the International Society for Human Rights, Juan Ferreiro Galguera, Professor of Law and Religion, University of A Coruña, Rosita Šorytė, Lithuanian diplomat, President of the ORLIR, International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees, Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, USCIRF Commissionner and Vice-Chairwoman of the Commission, Willy Fautré of Human Rights without Frontiers.