COMECE contribution to the 2018 Fundamental Rights Forum
In its contribution to the preparatory consultation and expert meeting, COMECE stressed the close link between “belonging” and the possibility for each human person to live alone and in community in accordance with one's faith.
Referring to various recent cases (e.g. attempt to criminalise of circumcision, issues with ritual slaughter of animals, problematic judgments on Churches and employment) COMECE raised the question whether the space for the fundamental human right to freedom of religion is possibly shrinking in the EU.
COMECE emphasised that discussions on the role of Churches and religious communities should be based on the concept of "shared responsibility" instead of “shared space” between religion and human rights.
Appreciation was expressed by COMECE for the commitment of First Vice-President of the European Parliament Ms. Mairead McGuinness on the implementation of Article 17 TFEU and for the increased attention by the FRA Agency for Dialogue with Churches and religious communities.
COMECE stands ready to explore ways to further develop its constructive relations with the Agency, and to strengthen the Dialogue on the basis of the application of Article 17(3) TFEU to all EU institutions and bodies, including its agencies.