EU appoints special envoy for religious freedom outside Europe

BRUSSELS, May 6 (KUNA) — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Friday his decision to appoint Jan Figel, former EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, as the first Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union.
Figel assumes this new role as of today for an initial mandate of one year, Juncker said in a press statement.
“Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right which is part of the foundation of the European Union. The persistent persecution of religious and ethnic minorities makes protecting and promoting this freedom inside and outside the EU all the more essential,” he added.
As part of his mission, Figel will present a report in the context of the on-going dialogue between the European Commission and churches and religious associations or communities, he noted. (end)

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