Since May 2016 Jan Figel was nominated by the European Commission as the first Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the European Union.
Mandate represents a new task to engage in this sensitive area mainly through international cooperation and development aid policy of the EU.
Figel often underlines that FoRB is an essential value for human dignity everywhere, for peace and justice in the world. His role is to work closely with other institutions within the EU (EEAS, Council, Parliament) and Member States especially in most critical countries. He named several regions as his priority: Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, Nothern and Central Africa, SouthEastern and Southern Asia. Mandates includes Special Envoy’s reporting within the regular dialogue of the EU with churches and religious communities based on Art. 17 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Jan Figel is experienced Slovak and European politician. He was Slovakia’s Chief Negotiator and the first EU Commisioner responsible for education, culture and youth policies and Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-president of the National Council.