“He will put in place measures to target de-radicalization and prevention of extremism on grounds of religion or belief in third countries. In cooperation with authorities from third countries, he will promote religious diversity and tolerance within educational programs and curricula.”
At the time of the appointment, COMECE president Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich said that the EU bishops looked forward to working with Stylianides.
“We wish him success in this important role of promoting a fundamental right and a core value of the European Union threatened in many parts of the world and we look forward to work closely together,” the Luxembourg archbishop commented.
Portaru noted that last month Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said that “The EU works relentlessly to address violations and abuses of freedom of religion or belief.”
“We hope the EU will live up to this promise and urge the European Commission to strengthen the position of the special envoy and build on the important work already achieved,” she said.
“The victims on the ground are in dire need of a decisive response from the EU. With its special envoy, the EU can lead in the international response. That leadership is needed now more than ever.”
Robert Clarke, deputy director of ADF International, added: “The special envoy has played a crucial role in bringing the horrors of religious persecution to light at the European level.”
“The role has created awareness around some of the worst and most persistent violations of fundamental rights around the world and helped focus EU efforts to counter them. The EU should not only continue, but intensify efforts to protect freedom of religion or belief around the world.”
“The reappointment of a special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU is now more necessary than ever.”