Transatlantic policy

The need for transatlantic coordination on policy around FoRB issues is stronger than ever. Universities of Sussex and Notre Dame have led the project ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and Foreign Policy: A transatlantic dialogue for a multilateral approach to religious freedom’. This was funded by a ‘Bridging Voices’ grant from the British Council/Luce Foundation. Partners in the project include the Department of Law ‘Cesare Beccaria’ of the University of Milan (Silvio Ferrari) and the ReligioWest ERC Project of the European University Institute (Olivier Roy).

A summary of the project aims and objectives can be viewed here 

The project unfolded in two conferences, the first in Europe and the second in the US:

The first dialogue “Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective” was held from February 9th to 11th 2015 in the UK at Wilton Park.

The second dialogue was “International Religious Freedom: Toward a Model of Transatlantic Cooperation,” and was held on October 8th 2015 at Georgetown University and followed on 9th October by a closed-door sessions day.

Policy Briefing: Recognising our differences can be our strength

A policy brief was published and discussed at the House of Lords at a meeting organised by University of Sussex and All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief (APPGIFoRB) on 7 September 2016  . A summary report of the policy dialogue was presented at a second House of Lords event held on 27 October.

Key Policy Recommendations & Research Findings:

  • Transatlantic church-state differences are an asset that can be drawn upon
  • Awareness about subtle differences in language needed e.g. IRF vs. FoRB
  • Collaborate between “religious freedom” and “religious engagement” activities
  • FoRB knowledge needs to be improved through training
  • Build coalitions & new multilateral strategies working with FoRB violators
  • FoRB networks across the world need bolstering
  • Share stories about the struggle with religious diversity

Output

Fabio Petito, Daniel Philpott, Silvio Ferrari & Judd Birdsall ‘FoRB – Recognising our differences can be our strength: Enhancing transatlantic cooperation on promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief’, Policy Brief, University of Sussex, summer 2016. (attached Policy Briefing)

Wilton Park, ‘Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective’, Conference Report WP1383, May 2015.

Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, ‘International Religious Freedom: Toward a Model of Transatlantic Cooperation’, Conference Report, Georgetown University, October 2015.

Andrew Bennett,  Speech at the Wilton Park Conference, “Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective”, Wilton Park, 9 February 2015.

Ram Madhav, Speech at the Wilton Park Conference, “Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective”, Wilton Park, 10 February 2015.

Paul Bhatti, Speech at the Wilton Park Conference, “Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective”, Wilton Park, 10 February 2015.

Silvio Ferrari, Speech at the Wilton Park Conference, “Developing multilateral approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: a European perspective”, Wilton Park, 9 February 2015.

Daniel Philpott, ‘Religious Freedom Over There: Can It Span the Atlantic?’, Arc of the Universe, 3 October 2015.

Pasquale Ferrara, ‘Religious Freedom: The Case for International Consensus’, Cornerstone October 14, 2015

Timothy Shah, ‘A Philosophical Basis for Transatlantic Cooperation on Religious Freedom?’, Arc of the Universe, 6 November 2015.