On July 3, 2019, COMECE co-organised together with Don Bosco International and the Baha’i International Community a dialogue meeting on “Human Rights & Religion” with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the participation of Churches and religious communities (Article 17 TFEU), as well as of faith-based organisations (Article 11 TEU).

Following the expert meeting of September 2017 and the integration of religions’ role in the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018, participants exchanged with the Agency on its priority areas and explored new ways to extend cooperation and further develop relations.

Represented organisations showcased their work in the area of fundamental rights within the EU, striving to go beyond the institutional scheme that sees them as mainly associated with freedom of religion, or with migration and asylum policies. The importance of religious literacy in the EU, including at the institutional level, was highlighted.

COMECE focused its contribution on overcoming the minorities vs. majorities logic, promoting full citizenship for all, in fighting discrimination on grounds of religion; child protection and safeguarding minors’ moral development in line with international standards; countering fake news; as well as on Churches’ expertise in the area of data protection.

An annualisation of the encounter with the FRA Agency, possibly with enhanced thematisation, may considered in the future.