Freedom of Religion

House of Lords written question – answered on 17th October 2013.

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Photo of The Bishop of Derby The Bishop of Derby Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 22 July (WA 167), what steps they are taking with their European partners to ensure that the European Union guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, as agreed by the Council of Ministers on 24 June, are put into operation.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Following their agreement by the Council of Ministers, the European Union guidelines have been used to inform lobbying on freedom of religion or belief issues by EU country offices and the embassies of individual Member States. They have also guided EU activity in multilateral fora, for example in developing resolutions on freedom of religion or belief at the UN General Assembly. Implementation of the guidelines, and their effectiveness to date, is due to be discussed by the EU’s human rights’ working group in the near future.

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