COMECE and the EPP Interreligious Dialogue & Intercultural Activities Service will host a conference in the European Parliament titled ‘EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief. What’s next?’ The main objective of the event is to provide a platform to discuss religious and intercultural aspects of EU policy. The conference will take place on Wednesday 26 April at the European Parliament, Brussels.

The conference follows the adoption by the Council of the European Union of the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief in 2013. The conference will focus on the current main challenges that the Guidelines represent for the EU and the need to re-launch the EU’s commitment to the practical promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

Speakers at the conference will include Fr. Olivier Poquillon OP, General Secretary of COMECE and György Hölvényi MEP and Jan Olbrycht MEP, co-Chairs of the EPP Interreligious Dialogue & Intercultural Activities Service; Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who will speak on international religious freedom; and Mairead McGuinness MEP, who will speak on the role of the European Parliament in the promotion of freedom of religion or belief.

COMECE is made up of bishops delegated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the 28 Member States of the European Union. Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, is the COMECE representative from the Irish Bishops’ Conference. For more information on COMECE visit