Mapping the field of Religious Diversity in EU Law and Policies within the European Commission

While the EU has no explicit legal competence in the sphere of religion and the management of relations with faith communities, questions regarding religion and religious diversity have taken on increasing importance within the legal and institutional framework and policy discourses of the EU in the last years. This summary provides an overview of how religion and issues of religious diversity are being framed and addressed in EU law and policies, and particularly within the Directorates General and other internal departments of the European Commission. Through an examination of EU legislation and both formal and informal European policy initiatives in the fields of citizenship and fundamental rights, non-discrimination, immigration and integration, social inclusion and education and culture, we demonstrate that there is a complex and heterogeneous patchwork of EU normative approaches delineating the relationship between religion and the EU. By mapping these different framings of religious diversity, this summary aims to locate the RELIGARE project and its research activities in the context of the policy landscape of religion at EU level with a view to facilitate the policy relevance of its forthcoming research results.

This summary draws on the research findings contained in a RELIGARE Working Paper by S. Carrera and J. Parkin (2010), The Place of Religion in European Law and Policy: Competing Approaches and Actors inside the European Commission, Religare Working Paper No. 1, September 2010.