What is EHF ?
Who are we ?
The European Humanist Federation was set up in 1991. Based in Brussels, it brings together more than 50 humanist and secularist organisations from over 20 European countries. The EHF collaborates closely with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).
The EHF is committed to the defence of democracy and human rights and works for social and cultural progress. It promotes the principles of secularism and a humanist vision of cultural, social and ethical values in Europe.
Secularism is the belief that, especially in multi-belief societies, the state and its official institutions should be impartial on the question of religion or belief. Only thus can it guarantee freedom of religion or belief for everyone and not give the impression of favouring one particular religion or life stance.
Humanism is an ethical non-religious belief or life stance. Humanists believe that we have only one life which can be good and fulfilling without religious beliefs. We make sense of the world and find a basis for morality by using reason, experience and shared human values. We can create meaning and purpose for ourselves and should try to live happy and fulfilled lives and help others to do so.
What do we want ?
To achieve separation between religion and the State throughout Europe
To defend freedom of religion and belief, which includes the right not to believe and the right to change your belief
To defend freedom of thought and speech, which implies opposition to laws prohibiting “blasphemy”
Inspired by our humanistic conviction that all men and women are born free and equal, to promote non-discrimination on all grounds (ethnic or national origin, religion and belief, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, etc)
Specifically, to support women’s sexual reproductive health rights when and where they are threatened.
What is at stake ?
Even if Europe is one of the most secular political spaces in the world, religious conservatism is still very strong in several European countries and has concrete consequences on people -especially women’s health and living standards.
Moreover, conservative religious organisations are at work in the corridors of European institutions to restrict people’s freedom of choice by influencing decisions on ethical matters.
What do we do ?
We promote individual freedom and oppose the influence of religious conservatism on European policies
We use our humanist and secular expertise to propose changes in European public policies when our values are at stake
We support our 56 member organisations based in more than 20 European countries in the challenges they are facing at a domestic level
We work in partnership with a large network of associations – including progressive religious organisations – with which we share goals and interests to oppose conservative religious lobbies
Where are we active ?
The EHF is recognised as an official partner of the European Union (EU) under the Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). We are therefore regularly invited to meet the Presidents of the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council to express our views on European policies.
We also defend our views and values within other international institutions such as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Council of Europe.
The EHF participates regularly in meetings of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics (EPPSP) in order to share information and prepare actions to achieve our goals.
The working languages are French and English.
This content last updated 18 April 2013 @ 9:51 am