EHF and the European Union 

The EHF has member organisations within and outside the European Union. The EU is of increasing importance in the lives of people in Europe, including even those outside its boundaries. A great deal of the EHF’s activity is therefore focussed on the EU – the Commission, Council of Ministers, Parliament, Fundamental Rights Agency, etc.

We campaign for a secular Europe and propose ambitious and progressive policies especially on ethical issues

Deeply committed to secularism, the EHF first strongly opposed the creation of a specific dialogue between European institutions and religious/non-confessional organisations

However, since the churches obtained the introduction of Article 17 TFEU, we have decided that we must take advantage of this opportunity rather than leave the floor to the churches.

 

Our legal basis for our dialogue with EU institutions is therefore Article 17 TFEU : 

“1. The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.

2. The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations.

3. Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations.”

 

EHF and EU Presidents

Since 2010, the EHF has been used to meet with the Presidents of the Commission, Parliament and Council to share its views on European topics of common interest. 

Before 2010, the EU used to organise the same top-level consultation with representatives of various religions at the exclusion of organisations representing non-religious lifestances.

EHF and the European Commission

The EHF is recognised by the Bureau of European Policy Advisers as representing humanists and secularists in the European Union.

It is the BEPA that organises the dialogue with the churches and non-confessional organisations.

EHF and the European Parliament

Like the European Commission, the European Parliament regularly organises meetings with churches and EHF on European issues.

The EHF also undertakes advocacy work and is an active supporter of the European Parliamentary Platform for Secularism in Politics. 

 

EHF and the Council of the European Union

Since the Belgian Council Presidency in 2010, the EHF has been regularly invited to meet with rotating EU presidencies to express its views on EU issues.

 

EHF and the Fundamental Rights Agency

The EHF is a member of the civil society Platform of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency.