Tags: Europe

Suggestion that France replace Christian holidays with Jewish and Muslim ones doesn’t go down well

Posted: Fri, 27 Sep 2013

An appointee to the French Government's National Observatory on Secularism has sparked controversy by suggesting that two Christian holidays should be replaced on the calendar by the Jewish Yom Kippur and the Muslim festival of Eid. Read More »

Swiss canton to vote on banning face coverings

Posted: Fri, 20 Sep 2013

The people of the Swiss canton of Ticino, which lies in the South on the Italian border, are to vote in a referendum on Sunday on whether to ban face coverings. Read More »

Switzerland wants a secular national anthem

Posted: Thu, 08 Aug 2013

Switzerland wants to get rid of its old-fashioned "hymn-like" national anthem and replace it with a modern, secular version. Read More »

Catalonia plans to ban the burka

Posted: Tue, 09 Jul 2013

The Catalan Government has announced that it will control the wearing of burkas and other face-coverings such as helmets and masks in public spaces "for reasons of public safety". Read More »

EU adopts guidelines on freedom of religion or belief

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2013

This week, the EU Council of Foreign Affairs adopted a report offering guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, with the aim of promoting the fundamental human right to freedom of religion or belief in countries beyond EU borders. Read More »

European Commission failed to implement properly Article 17 in EHF case says EU Ombudsman

Posted: Tue, 29 Jan 2013

The EU ombudsman has upheld complaint by the European Humanist Federation that the European Commission has failed to comply with an EU Treaty which requires the EU to conduct a "regular, open and transparent dialogue with churches, religious communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations." Read More »

EU Commissioner says blasphemy laws are undesirable in the EU, but it’s up to individual states to decide whether they implement them

Posted: Thu, 17 Jan 2013

The EU Commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Vivianne Reding, has said that blasphemy laws and other such restrictions are not acceptable and pose a threat to free speech. Read More »

European Commission to investigate complaints concerning employment discrimination in ‘faith’ schools

Posted: Thu, 17 Jan 2013

The European Commission is to investigate complaints submitted by the National Secular Society concerning whether UK legislation relating to state funded 'faith' schools breaches European employment laws in relation to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. Read More »

NSS call on EU Presidents to protect women's right to life

Posted: Tue, 27 Nov 2012

The Presidents of the European Council and European Commission today heard a plea for greater protection for pregnant women's right to life following the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. Read More »

Austrian Cardinal relocates to Brussels to insert Catholicism into EU policy-making

Posted: Thu, 22 Nov 2012

The Austrian bishops conference held its plenary meeting in Brussels this month because it wants to be nearer the EU – where it hopes to increase its influence. Read More »

Maltese Catholic extremist examined for post of European Commissioner

Posted: Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Members of the European Parliament have this week examined Tonio Borg's bid to join the European Commission. Alarm has been raised about Mr Borg's performance in his home country of Malta, where he has opposed women's rights, gay rights and issues such as contraception and abortion. Read More »