Commenting on the recent decision of the Council of the European Union to publish the guidelines, Bishop Alastair said:
“With freedom of religion or belief under stress in so many parts of the world, these new guidelines are a welcome and much needed addition to the EU’s human rights tool kit. They set out clearly and unequivocally the EU’s determination to promote in its external human rights policy, freedom of religion or belief as a right to be exercised by everyone everywhere.
“The challenge now is to put into practice these guidelines in the work of the EU’s missions overseas and in the work of the EU institutions in order that concrete steps might now be taken to prevent violations of this most basic of human rights.
“I very much hope that the EU’s External Action Service will monitor and document the effectiveness of these guidelines and how they are being used on the ground. These guidelines must not be left on the shelves of EU missions gathering dust.”