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The Log in Your Eye: Is Europe's External Promotion of Religious Freedom Consistent With its Internal Practice?

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The commitment of the EU to the external promotion of the respect for human rights allegedly distinguishes its foreign policy from that of traditional powers. Yet there is the perception that EU's statements are not always consistent with internal practices. This article analyses one set of EU's inconsistencies that has not been sufficiently studied: the discrepancy between internal and external human rights standards. The article focuses on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, which has become a priority of the EU's foreign policy. It is submitted that the EU's external position generally reflects values common to the Member States, but is sometimes contradicted by the practice of domestic authorities. The human rights standards identified in the EU's foreign policy may arguably serve as a reference for legal reform and the interpretation of fundamental rights in Europe.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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