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ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

28 June 2018  |  Brussels

Join us at the Faith and Freedom Summit: Practicing what we Preach in Europe, that will take place on June 28th in Brussels, at the Solvay Library. 

The Faith and Freedom Summit: Practicing what we Preach in Europe is a non-partisan summit, which brings together leaders from the various fields of politics, government, academia, activism and the non-for-profit sector from across Europe and beyond, in order to propose and develop initiatives that will put Freedom of Religion or Belief in Europe back in the spotlights.

These summits on Faith and Freedom are particularly appropriate in a year in which we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a commitment which all European countries have signed, and a vision that requires increased dedication and action to go from an idealistic dream to a needed and expected reality.

Under international law, Freedom of religion or belief has two components:

(a) The freedom to have or not to have or adopt (which includes the right to change) a religion or belief of one’s choice, and

(b) The freedom to manifest one's religion or belief, individually or in community with others, in public or private, through worship, observance, practice and teaching.

With the adoption of the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or beliefin 2013, the EU has committed to advance this fundamental freedom in its external action, including through its financial instruments. In doing so, the EU is guided by the principles of non-discrimination and interrelatedness of human rights.

The EU "focuses on the right of individuals, to believe or not to believe, and, alone or in community with others, to freely manifest their beliefs".  While these protections are codified, we have not realized them in practice yet.  Faith and Freedom Summit seeks to remind the EU of the standards professed and push to put those ideals more fully into practice. 

Faith and Freedom Summit
ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

LOCATION

Solvay Library, Parc Leopold, Rue Belliard 137, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

SPEAKERS

Congressman Bob McEwen

Former Member, American Delegation to the European Parliament


“His clear and humorous speaking style will leave you with answers to questions you have always had but didn’t know who to ask” is a quote often heard about Bob McEwen.  The former Ohio Congressman in conferences around the world uncovers the part that God and Free Enterprise have played in making America the envy of the world. “If we lose our appreciation for those two pillars of Right and Work we will see the disintegration of the great American culture.”  

Bob was chosen by his colleagues to be a member of the coveted Intelligence Committee and also the Rules Committee which oversees all legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.   He also was a member of the U.S. delegation to the European Parliament for 10 years. 

Currently he serves at the Executive Director of the Washington based Council for National Policy. 

Bob and his wife, Liz, have four children and eight grandchildren - and make their homes in Cincinnati, Ohio and Fairfax Station, Virginia.

Congressman Bob McEwen

Former Member, American Delegation to the European Parliament

bio    

Jan Figel

EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union


Born in Slovakia, Jan Figel studied engineering in Kosice before becoming a member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.  Expanding on his education, he studied at UFSIA in Antwerp and Georgetown in Washington, D.C.  At Trnava University in Slovakia, he was a lecturer on International Relations.  He represented Slovakia in negotiations for EU membership and has worked in the National Councils and as a member of the European Commission.  From 2012-2016, Mr. Figel was Vice-President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.  In 2016, Figel was appointed as the Special Envoy to the European Commission for the promotion of freedom of religion outside the European Union.

Jan Figel

EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union

bio    

Dennis de Jong MEP

Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, European Parliament


Dennis de Jong MEP

Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, European Parliament

Amjad Bashir MEP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

@AmjadBashirMEP


Amjad Bashir travelled to the United Kingdom from Pakistan aged just eight years old, to join his father who worked in Wool mills in 1960s Bradford.

Despite speaking little English on his arrival, Amjad went on to study Chemical Engineering at Bradford University, and whilst he initially started out by working in his father’s fabric company, ended up really cutting his teeth in the restaurant trade. He opened his first restaurant in 1979 and over the next thirty five years built up a successful catering business with his sons.

Having started from scratch on more than one occasion, Amjad has always been aware of the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs; there is uncertainty in the best of times and bureaucracy can be both confusing and frustrating.

Since his election to the European Parliament in 2014, Amjad has worked tirelessly on the Employment and Social Affairs committee to support and champion Small and Medium sized businesses across Europe. In particular, he’s committed to reducing burdensome regulation in order to help create a stimulating environment for businesses and start-ups.

He is determined to further the cause for free markets and human rights not only in the UK, but also in Europe and the Arab world and Asia.

Amjad started and run Kebabeesh restaurant at Whetley Lane, Bradford from 1979 till 1987. Later he established another branch of Kebabeesh in New Line, Greegates, Bradford from 1987 till 2009. Meanwhile he established two restaurants named “Zouk” at Leeds Road and Chester Street in Bradford from 2006 till 2013.

From 2014 onwards Amjad has been serving as a Conservative Member of European Parliament for Yorkshire and The Humber.

Amjad Bashir MEP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

bio    @AmjadBashirMEP

Branislav Skripek MEP

Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs


Branislav Skripek MEP

Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Salvatore Martinez

Rep of the Italian presidency at OSCE


Prof. Dr. Salvatore Martinez

Graduated in Paleography and Musical Philology at the University of Pavia, with specialization on the history of the Pontiffs of the first millennium. He is invited in Italy and abroad, to teach and conduct masters in various Universities, on themes of spirituality even with an ecumenical and interreligious character, on the promotion of new models of intercultural leadership, on the formation of youth operators in the field of social justice.

He is President of the Observatory on Religious Minorities in the World and on the Respect for Religious Freedom, a body promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI).

In January 2018 he was nominated Personal Representative of the OSCE 2018 Chairperson-in-Office for Dimension 3, to "Combat Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, with a focus on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and members of Other Religions". He has also been appointed Personal Representative of the permanent Bureau of the Presidency in Vienna, in Dimension 3, as the “Christian” representative, taking the place of Prof. Ms. Ingeborg Gabriel from Austria who represented Christians and alongside the American Rabbi Andrew Baker for the Jews and Prof. Bulent Şenay of Turkey for the Muslims (both of them are already on Board).

He is President of the Vatican Foundation “International Center Family of Nazareth” for the development of the Magisterium of the Family in the world with an ecumenical and interreligious character and with special focus on the Middle East.

He is President of Rinnovamento nello Spirito Santo (Renewal in the Spirit), a lay movement with 1800 Groups and communities in Italy, Missions abroad, Schools of formation, Foundations for the promotion of projects of social justice with special attention to prisoners, immigrants and children.

He is President of the Foundation Institute of human promotion "Mons. Francesco Di Vincenzo", a charitable body of the Italian State for integration of social formation based on the dignity of the human person.

He is President of the Foundation “Casa Museo Sturzo” (Sturzo Home Museum) situated in the building of the noble Sturzo family in Sicily. Don Luigi Sturzo lived here and where his thought was formed as founder of the Italian Popular Party, and father of European democracy.

He is President of the Association "Laudato Si'" for the national Project "LAB.ORA 1000 youth for a leadership of service".

He is and has been consultor and member of several national and international bodies and organizations.  He is a prolific writer, 25 of his books have been published, and some of them translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish, Mandarin.

Salvatore Martinez

Rep of the Italian presidency at OSCE

bio    

Ahmed Shaheed

Special Rapporteur on human rights to UN Human Rights Council


Dr Shaheed is an internationally recognised expert on foreign policy, international diplomacy, democratisation and human rights reform especially in Muslim States. He has twice held the Office of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Maldives, a position he used to promote human rights standards and norms. During his time in government, he played a leading role in the Maldives democratic transition and in its human rights reform process over a period of transition from a thirty-year-old autocracy with widespread human rights abuses, to a Muslim democracy which, in 2010, became a Member of the United Nations Human Rights Council with a record number of votes. The UN Human Rights Council appointed Dr Shaheed to the office of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran in June 2011.

Ahmed Shaheed

Special Rapporteur on human rights to UN Human Rights Council

bio    

Bashy Quraishy

Secretary General of EMISCO


Born in India but grew up in Pakistan. Studied Engineering in Germany and USA, and later studied International Marketing in London.  Member of several Commissions, Committees and Boards, involved with Human Rights, Ethnic/Religious Equality Issues, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, both in Denmark, EU and internationally. Author of 8 books on minority issues and European Union. Gen. Sec. of EMISCO -European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion.

 

Bashy Quraishy

Secretary General of EMISCO

bio    

Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros

Director of International Affairs for VOX


Ivan holds a BS in Business Administration from ICADE (Madrid) and an MBA from the Kellogg School (Northwestern University, Chicago). His early career was in auditing (Arthur Andersen), investment banking (Schroders) and consulting (McKinsey & Co).  After completing his MBA, he begun an entrepreneurial spree in fields such as entertainment production, publishing, and foods & services, although his main line of business for the past 15 years has been real estate.  He has successfully invested in and developed over 30 transformational real estate projects in Spain and Poland. 

In 2014 he co-founded VOX, a political start-up and the only self-defined conservative party in Spain. In short, VOX defends national unity, conservative views on social issues, a free-market Economy, low state intervention and strong reforms in the public sector.  Ivan has served as Secretary General of the party, and is now in charge of International Affairs. He was a candidate in the European Parliament elections of 2014 and is a regular guest on several TV and radio shows covering business and politics. An avid skier and traveller, Ivan has lived abroad for ten years. He is bilingual in English and Spanish, speaks intermediate French and has some notions of Polish. 

Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros

Director of International Affairs for VOX

bio    

Dr. Eli Nacht

Official Representative of International Committee of Human Rights in Israel


Dr. Eli Nacht was born in the USSR, has a bachelor’s degree in law and master’s degree in State science from Tel-Aviv Univeristy. His Ph. D. from York University focused on Communication and Public Policy.  He has worked in the Ministry of Communications, is owner of the Nacht Law Firm, Consultant to Abkhazian Government, Chief of Staff at the Kulanu Party and Advisor to a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.  He is also Vice President of the Chess Federation in Israel.

Dr. Eli Nacht

Official Representative of International Committee of Human Rights in Israel

bio    

Patricia Duval

Human Rights Attorney


Patricia Duval is an Attorney and member of the Paris Bar in France. She has a degree in public law from La Sorbonne University and specializes in international human rights law. She has defended the rights of minorities of religion or belief in European and international fora such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. She has also published a number of papers and articles which contain critical legal analysis of draft legislation and final laws on religion and religious minorities, and the role of the State in religious matters, such as “Anti-sect Movements and State Neutrality” (Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews, Dresden Technical University, 2012).

Patricia Duval

Human Rights Attorney

bio    

Willy Fautre

Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers International


Director and Co-founder of Human Rights Without Frontiers International, Willy was an active advocate for human rights in Communist countries during the Cold War. He has extensive experience in freedom of religion or belief around the world. He is a member of the International Consortium on Law and Religious Studies. He has written many articles in university journals, held lectures in academic conferences, testified before inter-state organizations and given interviews to international media.

Willy Fautre

Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers International

bio    

Sam Brownback

U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom


Sam Brownback was sworn in as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Previously he served as a U.S. Senator (1996-2011) and a U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives (1995-1996) from Kansas. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. He also served as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture (1986-1993) and was a White House Fellow in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1990-1991). Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback was a private attorney in Kansas and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University, co-authoring two books on the subject. He earned a B.S. from Kansas State University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas.

Sam Brownback

U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

bio    

Aaron Rhodes

President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe


President of the Forum for Religious Freedom - Europe.  Between 1993 and 2007, he was executive director of the Intl. Helsinki Federation for Human Rights; he was also a cofounder of both the Intl. Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and the Freedom Rights Project, a think tank.  He received a BA from Reed College and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  Rhodes was made an honorary citizen of the Republic of Austria in 2008.  His book, The Debasement of Human Rights, was published in 2018.

Aaron Rhodes

President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe

bio    

Marco Ventura

Professor of Law & Religion at University of Siena


Marco Ventura is a full professor (professore ordinario) with tenure at the Department of Law of the University of Siena. After a PhD at the University of Strasbourg he has visited the universities of London (UCL), Oxford, Strasbourg, Brussels (ULB), the Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciária of Macau, the Indian Law Institute in Delhi, the University of Cape Town, Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University. He was a professor (hoogleraar) at the Faculty of Canon Law of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from October 2012 to September 2015. From 2013 to 2015 he visited Vietnam as an expert in the dialogue between the European Union and the Vietnamese Committee on Religious Affairs. He is a member of the European Consortium for Church and State Research and of the Centre for Droit, Religion, Entreprise et Societé at the University of Strasbourg and CNRS. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal (Cambridge University Press). His subjects include law and religion, canon law, church and state relationships, comparative religious laws, religious freedom, bioethics and biolaw. 

Marco Ventura

Professor of Law & Religion at University of Siena

bio    

Hans Noot

Director of the Gerard Noodt Foundation


Mr. Noot has been working in the Human Rights Arena since 2008. He is the director of the Gerard Noodt Foundation for Freedom of Religion of belief (GNF), and participates in numerous international forums and platforms such as HRWF, EPRID, EIFRF, BOG, ICLRS, and others. He is regularly seen as a lecturer and consultant on topics that deal more in particular with Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech. He holds a Baccalaureate of Science and a Masters Degree in Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University in the USA, and is currently working on a PHD thesis in Organizational Anthropology at the University of Leiden. During the past 40 years he has been involved with Religious Education throughout Europe.

 

 

 

Hans Noot

Director of the Gerard Noodt Foundation

bio    

Greg Mitchell

Co-Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable


Greg Mitchell has been in national politics and government since 1991. He is the Founder and President of The Mitchell Firm, a government relations and lobbying firm that focuses on government reforms that improve outcomes and secure rights and freedoms for everyone, everywhere. For the last 14 years, he has been working mainly on criminal justice reform, international religious freedom and national security, and good citizenship and governance.

Greg is the managing co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable in Washington, D.C., an informal group open to all faiths. 

Greg Mitchell

Co-Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable

bio    

Vincent Berger

Former Jurisconsult of European Court of Human Rights


Vincent Berger is a graduate of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, has an advanced diploma in political science from the University Panthéon-Assas Paris II and a Ph.D. in law from the University Panthéon-Assas Paris II.  He worked with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1978-2013 where he was the Jurisconsult of the Court from 2006-2013. He is well published, having written several books and 14 editions of the Jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme.

Vincent Berger

Former Jurisconsult of European Court of Human Rights

bio    

Thomas Schirrmacher

President of the International Society for Human Rights


Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, DD, (born 1960) is Pres. of the Intl. Council of the Intl. Society for Human Rights and Dir. of the Intl. Institute for Religious Freedom (Bonn, Cape Town, Colombo, Brasilia). He teaches as professor for human rights and religious freedom at Oxford (Regent’s Park College) and as extraordinary professor of the sociology of religion at the state University of the West in Timisoara (Romania). He is Archbishop and Assoc. Sec. Gen. for the World Evangelical Alliance.

 

Thomas Schirrmacher

President of the International Society for Human Rights

bio    

Rev. Eric Roux

Vice-President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights


Rev. Eric Roux is an ordained minister of the Church of Scientology. He is currently the Vice-President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights. Writer of several books, he has worked as an activist on the topic of religious freedom and law and religions issues for many years at national and international levels. He wrote papers on this topics for many events, including events at OSCE, Council of Europe, US Capitol, EU Parliament, United Nations, etc., where he was also invited as a speaker. He also works in various interfaith platforms at European level. He currently serves as the Chairman of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom, and is also the President of the Union of Churches of Scientology of France.

Rev. Eric Roux

Vice-President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights

bio    

Ivan Arjona Pelado

President and Director General of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights


Ivan Arjona-Pelado is President and Director General of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights, supervising the representation of the different social and secular campaigns of Scientologist throughout the greater Europe. More than two decades of experience in the field of promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief at large as well as Human Rights starting in Spain but also around Europe, having lectured numerous universities in Spain, the United Nations at New York and Geneva, UNODC, OSCE, the UK Parliament and others. He has organized dozens of symposiums on FORB and created the “Religious Freedom Awards” in Spain recognizing already for four editions, the task of numerous scholars on the field.
 

Ivan Arjona Pelado

President and Director General of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights

bio    

Dr. Juan Ferreiro Galguera

Professor of Law and Religion, University of A Coruña


Juan Ferreiro Galguera is Professor of Law and Religion at the Department of Public Law of the University of A Coruña. He is also Master in International Affairs (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Master in Journalism (Autonomous University of Madrid-EL PAIS). He has been Deputy Director of Relations with Denominations at the Ministry of Justice of Spain (2006-2010). Prof. Ferreiro is the coordinator of the project “the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia” financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy 

His research focuses on freedom of expression, freedom of education, freedom of conscience, limits of religious freedom, and relations between churches and State: specially regarding Islam. His books inlude,  Profesores de religión de la enseñanza pública y Constitución Española (2004), Relaciones Iglesia-Estado en la II República Española (2005), Islam and State in EU: Imams training centres (2011); Relaciones Iglesia-Estado en el Franquismo y en la Transición. (2013)

Dr. Juan Ferreiro Galguera

Professor of Law and Religion, University of A Coruña

bio    

Rosita Soryte

Lithuanian diplomat, President of the International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees


Rosita ŠORYTĖ was born on September 2, 1965 in Lithuania. In 1988, she graduated from the University of Vilnius in French Language and Literature. In 1994, she got her diploma in international relations from the Institut International d‘Administration Publique in Paris.

In 1992, Rosita Šorytė joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. As a diplomat she has been posted to the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to UNESCO (Paris, 1994-1996), to the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, 1996-1998), and twice to the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the United Nations in New York (as First Secretary (2003-2006) and as Minister Counsellor (2014-2017)). In 2011, she worked as the representative of the Lithuanian Chairmanship of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Warsaw). In 2013, she chaired the European Union Working Group on Humanitarian Aid on behalf of the Lithuanian pro tempore presidency of the European Union. As a diplomat, she specialized in peace and security, disarmament, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping issues, with a special interest in the Middle East and religious persecution and discrimination in the area.  She also served in elections observation missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Belarus, Burundi, and Senegal.

Her personal interests, outside of international relations and humanitarian aid, include spirituality, world religions, and art. She takes a special interest in refugees escaping their countries due to religious persecution and is co-founder and President of ORLIR, the International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees. She is the author, inter alia, of “Religious Persecution, Refugees, and Right of Asylum,” The Journal of CESNUR, 2(1), 2018, 78–99.

 

Rosita Soryte

Lithuanian diplomat, President of the International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees

bio    

Kristina Arriaga

USCIRF Commissionner and Vice-Chairwoman of the Commission


Kristina Arriaga has worked on the defense of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United States and internationally for over 20 years as Advisor to the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, an appointee to the Civil Rights Commission, and as the Executive Director of a public interest law firm that defends all religious traditions. She currently serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Kristina is also the founder and president of Hive Consulting, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based international communications consulting firm. Arriaga is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on religious freedom, has spoken at numerous academic conferences, and has appeared on TV and radio programs including MSNBC, C-Span, FOX, CNN Español, and National Public Radio. Arriaga is the recipient of the 2017 Newseum’s Free Speech award.

Kristina Arriaga

USCIRF Commissionner and Vice-Chairwoman of the Commission

bio    

Dr. Alessandro (Alex) Amicarelli

Chairman of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB)


Alessandro Amicarelli, member at Obaseki Solicitors in London, is a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and a barrister of Italy, specialising in International and Human Rights Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, Investments and Business Services. 

Holding a PhD in "International Order and Human Rights" from Sapienza, University of Rome, with a thesis on the Protection of Religious Freedom in International Law, he has dedicated the last 20 years to the issues related to the protection of Freedom of Religion and Belief, Refugee and Displaced Persons and other Human Rights and Immigration matters.

He has extensively lectured in Human Rights and has also taught a course on Human Rights, Minorities and Religious Freedom at Soochow University, Taiwan (ROC), and is a speaker at meetings and conferences in different countries.

He is the current chairman of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief, a secular body independent and autonomous of any faith, that operates throughout Europe advocating full and equal freedom of religion and belief for all individuals and groups - www.freedomofbelief.net 

 

Dr. Alessandro (Alex) Amicarelli

Chairman of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB)

bio    

Martin Weightman

Director of the All Faiths Network


Martin Weightman is the Director of the All Faiths Network – a national member body of the UK’s Inter Faith Network. He has worked in the human rights and interfaith fields for more than 30 years and been involved in a number of different human rights organisations over the years. Campaigning across the different EU institutions as well as the Council of Europe, UN, OSCE and at national level he has given talks, presentations and organised events on human rights education, freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and mental health abuse (particularly with regards to misdiagnosis and abusive drugging of children).

Martin Weightman

Director of the All Faiths Network

bio    

Adina Portaru

Legal Counsel for ADF International in Belgium


Dr Adina Portaru serves as Legal Counsel for ADF International in Belgium, advocating for religious freedom at the European Union.

Prior to joining ADF International, Dr Portaru worked extensively in academic research. She was a research assistant at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Austria, where she assessed human rights policies.

Dr Portaru earned her LLM in Law and Globalization from Maastricht University. She also obtained a Bachelor in Law and a Bachelor of Theology from the University of Bucharest in Romania. Dr Portaru completed her doctorate in Law at Karl Franzens University in Austria. Her thesis assesses how the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee interpret freedom of thought and religion.

Portaru is admitted to the bar in Bucharest, Romania.

Adina Portaru

Legal Counsel for ADF International in Belgium

bio    

ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

AGENDA

9:00-9:30

Registration and Coffee

9:30-9:40

Keynote Speech TBC

9:40-9:50

Keynote Speech by Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Religion or Belief 

9:50-10:50

Activists Panel Discussion

While the EU has adopted strong commitment in favor of freedom of religion and belief in its external policy, too often, its internal application of this fundamental right is left lacking. The well-known religious freedom activists of this panel will discuss the need to take into account the real issues that are existing regarding freedom of religion in EU member states, and explore the ways for EU to take responsibility to live up internally to what we preach externally. Discussion will be followed by Q&A with the room.

10:50-11:00

Keynote Speech by Jan Figel, EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom

11:00-11:20

Coffee Break

11:20-12:20

Politicians Panel Discussion

With the 2019 European elections in view, the politicians of this non-partisan panel will assess areas that need to be improved as regards the protection of freedom of religion or belief, and will discuss the possibilities to outline policies toward a greater respect of religious diversity in Europe. It shall provide participants with valuable insights into why EU citizens must enjoy a real freedom of religion or belief, at every level, and how this fundamental right could be given the importance it deserves in the EU institutions. Discussion will be followed by Q&A with the room.

12:20-12:30

Special Address by Congressman Bob McEwen, Former Member, American Delegation to European Parliament

12:30-13:30

Lunch Break

13:30-13:40

Keynote Speech by Sam Brownback, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

13:40-13:50

Keynote Speech by Kristina Arriega, USCIRF Commissioner and Vice-Chairwoman

13:50-14:00

Keynote Speech by Salvatore Martinez, Representative of the Italian Presidency of the OSCE, in Charge of Freedom of Religion, and President of the Vatican Foundation International Center Family of Nazareth

14:00-15:00

Law and Religion Panel Discussion

The high-level law and religion experts of this panel will discuss the challenging necessity of addressing Freedom of Religion or Belief as an important topic to be tackled by EU institutions. They will discuss how and why European Institutions have a real competency to address freedom of religion in EU countries, and even a legal duty to do so. Discussion will be followed by Q&A with the room.

15:00-15:20

Coffee Break

15:20-15:30

 

Keynote Speech by Eric Roux, Vice President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights

15:30-16:30

Activists Panel Discussion 

EU citizens must enjoy a real freedom of religion or belief, at every level, and if this fundamental right is not given the importance it deserves in the EU institutions, and in the EU instruments to protect the various freedoms of EU citizens, it is the symptom of a failure for EU. This international high level Human Rights activists panel will discuss how Freedom of Religion or belief is or is not in the DNA of the European Union, explore international initiatives that exist outside and could be reproduced inside, alert on real challenges as the relationship between freedom of religion and the refugee status, and defend the freedom of conscience and religion of all individuals by rejecting and speaking out bigotry, discrimination, harassment and violence; and so build a more equitable society for all. Discussion will be followed by Q&A with the room.

16:30-16:40

Keynote Speech TBC

16:40-17:00

Closing Remarks

ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

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ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit

PARTNERS

European Coordination for Freedom of Conscience
Fundacion Para La Mejora
All Faiths Network
European Office of the Church of Scientology