Mr. Antonis Roupakiotis Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights July 23, 2012 Dear Mr. Minister, The European Humanist Federation (EHF) and the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) wish to draw your attention to the case of three actors charged for blasphemy after taking part in a play in Athens on the 9th of June 2012. This worrying situation shows the urgency to adapt the Greek legislation to modern European standards in order to protect… read more »
At the General Assembly of 24 May 2012 in Utrecht, Pierre Galand, President of the Centre d’Action Laïque (Belgium), was elected as the head of the EHF for a three-years term. He succeeds to David Pollock who spared no efforts in taking over the presidency of the EHF for six years. The EHF warmly welcomes its new President and expresses its deep gratitude to David Pollock for his important contribution for humanism in Europe.
Changes to Bylaws Apart from the regular business of the General Assembly (approving the annual report and accounts, budgets and plans), this year we also approved some significant changes to our bylaws. These will be included in the Bylaws on this website once they have received official approval by the Belgian authorities. (a) Membership categories The General Assembly agreed to abolish the category of Consultative Member: all organisations that pay the minimum membership fee of… read more »
The EHF has launched a major campaign towards EU institutions to remove religious restrictions from EU policy on research Why now? European institutions are currently negotiating the Commission’s new proposal “Horizon 2020” which will set the rules for European Union (EU) funding for research in Europe for the rest of the decade. Like previous programmes, “Horizon 2020” raises ethical issues (article 16), one of which is the European funding for human embryonic stem cell (hESC)… read more »
The EHF has written to the Ombudsman with firm comments on the EU Commission’s response to our complaint about their approach to the Article 17 dialogue with us and in particular their treatment of our request for a dialogue seminar. Our covering letter is here. It attaches our detailed comments, which have three enclosures: a letter from BEPA to the EHF dated 16 November 2011; an email from BEPA to the EHFdated 5 May 2011 and a letter… read more »
The Ombudsman in March 2012 forwarded to us for comment the EU Commission’s response to our complaint about their discrimination against us in their implementation of the Article 17 dialogue. The Ombudsman’s letter and the EU response may be read here. For the EHF’s complaint, see here . For the Ombudsman’s request for comments from the Commission, see here. For the EHF’s comments to the Ombudsman on the Commission’s response, see here.
EHF received an appeal from the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) for support for an Indonesian civil servant, Alexander Aan, who is being prosecuted after creating an atheist group on Facebook. Some background is available on the New Humanist blog and the AHRC website has full details. We sent emails as requested to Prof. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo, the General Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, to Mr. Suryadharma Ali, the Minister of… read more »
Carsten Frerk has written especially for EHF an article about trends in religious belief and behaviour in Germany. He is a social scientist and founder of the Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland – a group of non-university scientists sponsored by the Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung to study and publish empirical studies on religion and belief in Germany. The article is available here in the original German version and here in an English version. (27 April 2012)
Persistence of religious conservatism in European societies Europe is one of the most secular political spaces around the world : European governments have more and more freed themselves from churches’ influence and secularis:m has also significantly spread in European societies making the number of non-believers growing up to between a quarter and a half of the overall population. Despite this reality, religious conservatism is still very strong in several European countries. This fact has very… read more »
Hans Christian Cars represented EHF at the meeting of the EU Fundamental Rights Platform for NGOs (the FRP) on 19-20 April 2012. He reports: It was as usual thoroughly well organised with two panel discussions with invited experts and some forty workshops of which thirty were conducted by NGOs and the rest by FRA staff. In the election for Advisory Panel members, six were elected from a pool of 24 candidates. Regrettably one of these was… read more »