After years, the European Union will again receive a special envoy who stands up for freedom of religion. The former Cypriot European Commissioner Christos Stylianides has been entrusted with that task.
The Christian Democrat Stylianides will work on behalf of the EU to combat discrimination and counter-radicalization. He will also encourage conversation between different faith communities and help with reconciliation.
The European Commission actually wanted to get rid of the envoy after the departure of special envoy Ján Figel in 2019. But the committee gave in to pressure from especially the Christian Democrats and the right-wing conservatives in the European Parliament. However, it was not possible to appoint a successor for Figel.
The SGP is happy with the appointment. “We fought for this for a long time,” says MEP Bert-Jan Russian. He does insist that the new envoy should also be given enough money and human resources to do his job.