Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Freedoms of Religion & Conscience under serious threat in Moldova

By Leo van Doesburg & Anca Bulica


The Moldovan Ministry of Justice proposed a new law to prevent and to fight against discrimination. The purpose of the proposed law was to create an instrument that allows the prevention of any kind of discrimination on Moldovan territory and to bring all the provisions together under one piece of legislation.  However, because of the confusion at the Ministry of Justice about the goal of the new legislation, the proposed law became very controversial and it raised serious concerns about the freedom of faith and conscience. Nevertheless, active neo-liberal EU lobbyists and diplomats stated that this was the only way for the lifting of the visa barriers. Unjustified pressure from some official EU diplomats combined with a confused Ministry of Justice seemed to form the basis for a controversial law that brings fundamental freedoms in Moldova in serious danger. 

This article that I wrote together with Anca Bulica (policy officer Care for Europe) gives a deep analysis about the situation in Moldova and will be published in a special ECPM publication about "the freedom of faith and conscience" in the beginning of August.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Controversial Secularist's Meeting at The European Parliament: "Open As Long As You Agree?"

At a meeting of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics (EPPSP) on 29 June 2011, there was an unexpected and controversial debate on the role of secularism and religion within the public sphere, where strong views were expressed on both sides. The debate centered on Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty which commits the European Union (EU) to an open and transparent dialogue with churches and religious associations/ communities in Member States and whether it is right to enshrine such a commitment in the Treaty.

(Source European Dignity Watch: www.Europeandignitywatch.org)