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European Union appoints Frans van Daele to promote religious freedom

After 3 years of doubts, the European Commission finally elects a new Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief.  

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BRUSSELS 08 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2022 16:46 h
Frans van Daelen, new Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief of the European Union, in a photo of 2016. / Photo: [link]Flickr Financial Times[/link], CC.

The European Union finally has a new person in charge of promoting religious freedom beyond its borders.



The Vice President of the European Commission has announced the appointment of the Belgian Frans van Daele as new Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of religion or Belief. “Committed to ensure that all faiths and beliefs are respected around the globe and to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue”, Margaritis Shinas tweeted on 7 December.







This commitment, nevertheless, was not that clear for many critics, since the European Union took almost three years to name a new person to lead the promotion of FoRB (freedom of religion or belief) outside its borders.



Since the end of the mandate of Jan Figel in 2020, the leadership of the EU has not given stability in this post.



In 2021, the Cypriot Christos Stylianides was appointed but left the post only 6 months later.



 



Van Daele, a long experience as a diplomat



75-year-old van Daele, a former Belgian diplomat, takes up the task of establishing a dialogue with national authorities in countries outside Europe where people are discriminated against on the basis of religion or belief.



According to the Brussels Times, Frans van Daele has previously served as Permanent Representative of Belgium to NATO, Belgian Ambassador to the United States as well as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels. He has also was chief of staff of the Belgian king. Upon retirement, he was appointed Minister of State.



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