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European Commission Appoints Special Envoy for Promoting Religious Freedom


The European Commission announced this week that it has appointed Belgian diplomat Frans van Daele as Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief Outside the EU. (EC News Release [scroll down to “Appointments”]). The announcement describes the Special Envoy’s duties:

The Special Envoy will establish a dialogue with national authorities and other stakeholders in countries suffering from discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. He will support for intercultural and interreligious dialogue processes, including encouraging dialogue between representatives of different faiths and the setting up of joint initiatives. He will put in place measures to target de-radicalisation and prevention of extremism on grounds of religion or belief in third countries. In cooperation with authorities from third countries, he will promote religious diversity and tolerance within educational programmes and curricula. The Special Envoy will coordinate his activities closely with the EU Special Representative on Human Rights.

Among his prior diplomatic position, van Daele served as Belgian Ambassador to the United States from 2002 to 2006. ADF International issued a press release commenting on the appointment.


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