Estonia is currently holding the European Council Presidency since July 2017. On 29 August, EHF President Giulio Ercolessi and EHF Executive Director Pierre-Arnaud Perrouty met Matti Maasikas, the Estionian Minister for European Union Affairs in Tallinn.
Among the issues that were discussed was the situation of non-believers who are in danger in some countries but also the specific question of refugees who had to leave their country for this very reason.
The EHF asked for the opening of safe and legal routes for migrants and questionned the deal between the EU and Turkey on migration pointing out that the present Turkish government is more and more drifting away from democratic standards.
The EHF also raised the issue of upholding the Rule of Law within the EU and asked the Presidency to push for a permanent mechanism to monitor the situation of human rights and democracy in all Member States. Such mechanism, proposed by the European Parliament, is key to avoid situations where some governments are openly at odds with European values, like in Hungary and Poland today.
Finally, on the issue of LGBTI rights, the EHF called on the Estonian Presidency to reaffirm that LGBTI rights prevail over national constitutions and traditions and to push for the adoption of the Horizontal Directive to complete the EU anti-discrimination framework.