ADVERTISING
 
Monday, July 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Religious freedom
 

EU special envoy for the promotion of freedom of belief is “notable progress”

The European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) welcomes the appointment. President Juncker announced that the former Education commissioner Jan Figel’ will take on a one year mandate.

AUTHOR Joëlle Philippe BRUSSELS 17 MAY 2016 09:01 h GMT+1
Jan Figel'. / Council of Europe

It took everyone by surprise but it was supposed to be an answer to a resolution of the European Parliament: The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced the last 6th of May in a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican, that he will appoint a special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief “outside of the European Union”.



The former commissioner of Education, Training, Culture and Youth (2004-2009), the Slovak Jan Figel’ assumed his role the same day for a (renewable) one-year mandate. Mr. Figel’ is known to be a committed Roman Catholic and was First Deputy-Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2010 to 2012.



The Commission press release explains that the “European Parliament supports and has called for this initiative” in a resolution of the 4th of February. This resolution concerned the mass murder of religious minorities and it was the first time the EP called “genocide” an on-going conflict.



The text urged the international community and the Member States of the EU to take action. One of the demands of the European Parliament was to “establish a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion or Belief”.



President Juncker said that Freedom of religion of belief (FoRB) is a fundamental right and that “the persistent persecution of religious and ethnic minorities makes protecting this freedom inside and outside the EU all the more essential”.



 



A COMPLICATED MANDATE?



Mr. Figel’ is the first EU special envoy for a specific human right. So far, the EU only had Special Representatives for regions or countries (Kosovo, Afghanistan…) and a Special Representative for Human Rights in general, which all depend on the European External Action Service (EEAS). The Special Envoy for FoRB mandate is a surprising one because it depends on the Commission and not the EEAS and because it includes an internal dimension.



As President Juncker said, “protecting this freedom inside and outside”, the mandate seems unclear: the special envoy will serve under the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, which is only one part of the EU’s foreign action. The rest is dealt by the Council (the Member States) and implemented by the European External Action Service. The press release does not mention the EEAS.



 



“UNBLOCK FINANCIAL MEANS”



“The Commission tries often to have the appointments instead of the EEAS. The EEAS has limited budget whereas in the Commission, the Special Envoy will be able to unblock administrative and financial means”, explained to Evangelical Focus Christel Lamère Ngambi, the Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA).



 



Christel Lamère Ngnambi.

On the other side, the press release informs that Mr Figel’ will have to present a report in the “context of the on-going dialogue between the Commission and churches”, which is under the first Vice-President Franz Timmermans. This means the mandate will also be linked to internal policy of the EU.



Lamère welcomes the news and says that as a “notable progress” because the EEA has been working on that since 2011: “It is preferable to have a mandate like this because it means Mr Figel’ will have support in different sectors of the Directorate General of Development, but also Justice and Internal Affairs and the Vice-presidency of Timmermans, and finally the EEAS”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - EU special envoy for the promotion of freedom of belief is “notable progress”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
VIDEO Video
 
“No one should have to leave their values at the door” “No one should have to leave their values at the door”

Author Krish Kandiah talks with politician Tim Farron about the Christian faith, politics and secularism.

 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.