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Fair Treatment for All: Religion and Belief, Law and Equalities in Europe
at the EU Parliament and Centre Espaces, Brussels, Belgium
· To suggest methods for more consistent implementation of EU Directives on Equalities and Non-Discrimination on grounds of Religion and Belief across Europe.
· To increase public awareness of the fundamental right of freedom of religion and belief: diversity or lack of inclusivity?
· To explore policies and actions, at governmental and grass-roots levels, which move away from confrontation towards reasonable accommodation.
DAY ONE – 19TH MARCH
SEMINAR at the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, Hall 78, Batiment Altieri Spinelli, Rue Wiertz, 60, B-1047 Brussels
SESSION 1: Setting the Equalities Agenda for Religion & Belief in Europe.Chair: Alan Murray
Vice President László Surján.
Challenging Inequality, Enriching Public Debate: ENORB members and partners
15.30 Religion and Belief, EU Law and Equalities
New Legal Developments: Lucy Vickers
New Challenges and New Paradigms: Marco Ventura
SESSION 2: Impementing the Directives across Europe. Chair: Martin Gurvich
16.30 Improving Implemention: New European Perspectives
RELIGARE : Lessons from a 10-nation project – Employment Law: Katayoun Alidadi
Combating Discrimination: Experience from ENAR: Bashy Quraishi
Working together across the divides:
i) Education: Richy Thompson
ii) Grassroots action: Tinci Singh
iii) Exploring conflicts between equality strands: Karim Chemlal
17.30 Political Perspectives on Improving Implementation: Dennis De Jong MEP, Chair of EU Parliamentary Group on Religion and Belief
18.00 Seminar ends. Move to Centre Espaces.
NETWORKING RECEPTION at Centre Espaces, Avenue de la Renaissance, 40, B-1000 Brussels
19.00 Evening Meal
20.00 Networking and Planning of Member State Seminars and Regional Exchange Visits 2013. Chair: Catriona Robertson
21.00 End of first day.
DAY TWO – 20TH MARCH
Towards a Framework for Improving Application of Directives. Chair:Lucy Vickers
Centre Espaces, Avenue de la Renaissance, 40, B-1000 Brussels (Prayer facilities available)
Alan Murray & Peter Petkoff
09.45 Religion and Belief Priorities in European Regions
i) Eastern Europe : Renata Uitz
ii) SE Europe: Peter Petkoff
iii) SW Europe: Eugenia Relano
iv) N Europe: Anu Laas
Followed by contributions from participants.
11.00 Coffee Break
11.15 Workshops (in Regional Groups)
- How can consistent implementation of the R&B strand of the directive be achieved, in the light of current challenges in your region?
- How can European Institutions help to reframe the debate on religion and belief - away from diversity as a challenge, towards lack of inclusivity as a challenge?
- How can grassroots organisations help to move public awareness of Religion and Belief away from confrontation towards reasonable accommodation?
Workshop Chairs: Paul Weller, Lucy Vickers, Peter Petkoff
Workshop Rapporteurs: Anu Laas, Julie Pascoe, Win Burton
12.15 Final Plenary Chair: Marco Ventura
Reflection and Action
Afternoon of 20th March: informal networking
Visits to religious and humanist places of interest in Brussels are being arranged during the afternoon for anyone who would like to stay on for some informal networking. We will leave Centre Espaces at around 14.30 and eat together in the evening. Please let us know if you would like to join us: email@example.com
Context: The Treaty of Lisbon both integrates the Charter of Fundamental Rights, notably Article 10 on freedom of religion and belief, and affirms, in Article 17, the need for dialogue with religious and non-religious organisations. The treaty can have a major positive impact for the future of Europe, by creating a potential ‘European Free Area for Religion and Belief’ built on the shared European values enshrined in the treaties. It opens the way to reducing conflict between worldviews and increasing the impact of the work done by religious and belief organisations, both separately and together, for the common good of Europe’s citizens from all backgrounds. The conference, linked to the Review of the EU Equality Directives, examines their potential major contribution in a changing, broader context.
This event is the third public seminar organised by ENORB, a new European network combating discrimination and prejudice and promoting mutual understanding and harmony in the field of Religion and Belief. As with other EU Equalities networks, ENORB works for common action on the basis of the inclusive policies enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
When & Where
European Network on Religion and Belief