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ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit II

2 April 2019  |  European Parliament (Room A1H1)

Join us for the Faith and Freedom Summit II, Practicing what we Preach in Europe, that will take place on April 2 at the European Parliament in Brussels!

The roundtable will bring together Members of the European Parliament, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE), the European Commission, as well as several human rights activists and scholars from civil society. The roundtable aims top drive an open discussion on the topic and the need to reinforce the existing mechanisms protecting freedom of religion or belief in the European Union. 

The Faith and Freedom Summit II and Roundtable is not an organization. It iss a campaign driven by a large coalition of faith-based and non faith-based NGOs and supported by many EU stakeholders. The Summit launched a pledge that all MEP candidates are asked to sign, that reads as following: "I pledge that I will uphold and defend the freedom of conscience and religion of all individuals by rejecting and speaking out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment and violence; and so build a more equitable society for all."  The  pledge is inter alia supported by Mr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

We strongly believe that EU citizens must enjoy a real freedom of religion or belief, at every level, and that 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. 

ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit II

SPEAKERS

Jan Zahradil MEP

ACRE President, Vice-Chairman, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

web    @ZahradilJan


Jan Zahradil is a Czech politician for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the president of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe - ACRE. He has been a Member of the European Parliament since the Czech Republic entered the European Union in 2004. Zahradil also served as Member of Parliament for Prague from 1998 to 2004. In his current third term at the European Parliament, Zahradil is a member of the international trade committee, serving as its Deputy Chairman. He was one of the founding members of the euro-realist ECR group, which went on to become the third largest group in the European Parliament in 2014. In March of 2011 he was elected the ECR President, thus becoming the first Czech MEP ever to have become leader of an EP group.

Jan Zahradil MEP

ACRE President, Vice-Chairman, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

bio    web    @ZahradilJan

Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz

President of the Oxford Society of Law and Religion


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 de Bucholz

President of the Oxford Society of Law and Religion

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    

Laurentiu Rebega MEP

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament

@LaurRebega


Laurențiu Rebega MEP is a Romanian politician and, since 2014, a member of the European Parliament. In the Parliament, Laurentiu Rebega is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI) as well as the Committee on Petitions. He is also a member of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. From June 2015 to March 2018 he was the vice-president of the Europe of Nations and Freedom political group. Between 2009 and 2011, Laurențiu Rebega studied Rural and Regional Development Project Management at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, from where he received his second MA degree.

Laurentiu Rebega MEP

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament

bio    @LaurRebega

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    

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    

Ines Mazarrasa Steinkuhler

Director of the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence, Ministry of Justice (Spain) - Fundacion Pluralismo y Convivencia


Ines Mazarrasa Steinkuhler is currently the Director of the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence, a State Foundation of the Spainish Ministry of Justice. She has a degree in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid and a Master's Degree in Environment and Development Policy from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom). She has developed most of her professional career in the international field and has more than 15 years of experience in development cooperation in different projects carried out in Tunisia, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Cape Verde and Ethiopia between 2001 and 2013 . She has also participated in strategic planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of public policies for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID); and has also worked as an independent consultant for international projects.

Ines Mazarrasa Steinkuhler

Director of the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence, Ministry of Justice (Spain) - Fundacion Pluralismo y Convivencia

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    

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    

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    

Eric Roux

Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom


Minister of the Church of Scientology, after 25 years in the Church’s clergy, Eric Roux became the president of the Union of Churches of Scientology of France and Vice President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights.

Eric Roux

Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

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    

Kishan Manocha

Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Human Rights Department, OSCE/ODIHR


Dr. Kishan Manocha is Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the Organization for Security and Co-operation Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw. Before this, he was Director of the Office of Public Affairs of the Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom. He holds degrees in medicine and law from the Universities of London and Cambridge respectively. He has extensive experience in religious freedom and minority rights issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as a consultant to international and non-governmental organizations. He first trained in psychiatry, completing a Research Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry, before studying law. He specialized in international criminal and human rights law for his LLM and practiced as a barrister in a number of international criminal law cases before the English courts.

Kishan Manocha

Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Human Rights Department, OSCE/ODIHR

bio    

ACRE

Faith and Freedom Summit II

AGENDA

9:30

Welcome coffee and tea

10:00

Welcome address

  • Laurentiu Rebega MEP

10:10

Introductory remarks from

  • Jan Figel, EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom
  • Martin Weightman, Director – All Faiths Network
  • Willy Fautre, Director, Human Rights Without Frontiers International
  • Bashy Quraichy, Secretary General, EMISCO
  • Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, President, Oxford Society of Law and Religion
  • Hans Noot, President, Gerard Noot Foundation
  • Eric Roux, Vice-President, European Affairs Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights
  • Ines Mazarrasa, Director, Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence (Ministry of Justice, Spain) - Fundacion Pluralismo y Convivencia
  • Kishan Manocha, Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Human Rights Department, OSCE/ODIHR
  • Marco Ventura, Full professor with tenure at the Department of Law of the University of Siena
  • Greg Mitchell, Co-chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable
  • Thomas Schirrmacher, President of the International Society for Human Rights

11:30

Keynote speech

  • Jan Zahradil MEP, President of ACRE and Lead Candidate for European Commission President

11:40

General discussion with the audience

12:30

End