The European Union has renewed the function of Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU after coming under pressure.
“The forthcoming appointment shows our determination to ensure the rights of ALL faiths and beliefs are respected across the world,” European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said on Wednesday.
It follows pressure from EU parliamentarians and campaign groups after months of dithering.
The EPP Group in the European Parliament last week urged EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to renew the position “without undue delay” in light of ongoing human rights abuses against religious minorities.
“The persistent discrimination, persecution or even mass killings of religious and ethnic minorities makes protecting and promoting this freedom inside and outside the EU all the more essential, and probably even more pressing today,” said EPPG Chair Manfred Weber and Vice-Chair Jan Olbrycht in a letter.