Secularism and Religious Diversity in Europe: Opportunities and Perspectives
4 - 5 December 2012
RELIGARE (‘Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe: Innovative Approaches to Law and Policy’) is a European framework project focusing on the ways in which European states govern the diversity of religions and beliefs within their territories. Its ultimate aim is to advance ‘promising practices’ through an in-depth comparative study of case law and sociological data on the freedom of religion and the right to non-discrimination.
RELIGARE seeks to show how historically rooted models of the Secular state in Europe are challenged by Europe’s changing religious and philosophical diversity. To do so, it examines both the theory and practice of the protection of the freedom of religion and belief and the right to non-discrimination in 10 countries, concentrating on four major domains: (1) family life, (2) employment, (3) access and the use of public space, and (4) the different forms of State support to religions and non-confessional groups.
The project applies an inter-disciplinary approach, comparing legal data gathered from 10 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the UK) and sociological data collected through semi-structured interviews with key opinion makers or stakeholders, in six countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, the UK).
This two-day conference offered a unique opportunity to discuss and reflect upon the project’s key findings.
MATERIALS OF THE FIRST DAY:
The first day (4 December - University of Leuven) was dedicated to a detailed presentation and an in-depth discussion of the research results among RELIGARE partners and external scholars and experts.·
TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE FIRST DAY, please click here.
The first day of the Conference was followed by an EVENING PANEL, featuring a keynote speech by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the EU Council, and having as panelists Adam Seligman (Boston University); Olivier Roy (European University Institute); Maleiha Malik (King’s College London); Marco Ventura (KU Leuven) and Tore Lindholm (University of Oslo).·
If you would like to see the VIDEO of the Evening Panel that took place on the first day of the event, please click HERE.
MATERIALS OF THE SECOND DAY:
The second day of the RELIGARE Conference (5 December - Brussels) situated the RELIGARE research findings in a wider context, exploring their relevance and potential for a EU approach to the protection of the freedom of religion and belief and the right to non-discrimination. The programme featured keynote speeches by Thorbjørn Jagland, General Secretary of the Council of Europe, and Lázló Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament. You can dowload the RATIONALE of the second day here.
VIDEO ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT BARROSO:
Finally, the RELIGARE Conference closed with a special video address by the President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso.
TO SEE THE VIDEO ADDRESS PLEASE CLICK HERE.
You can also download the programme of the event below. More materials and pictures will come shortly!