Our CEO, Jillian Brennan, attended the first meeting of the European Capacity Building and Networking project in Rome on Friday 31st March. The HAI is now one of 18 partner organisations for this project.
Lone Ree Milkær (photo above), Humanist Professionals Network Manager, led the workshop, along with Gary McLelland, CEO of Humanists International. The interactive workshop was attended by representatives from Humanist organisations across Europe and the long-term goal was agreed as follows:
Humanist lifestance and services are recognised as valid (high-quality, professional and meaningful) alternatives to religious or civil ones.
Three key objectives to achieve this goal were also agreed for the first two years of the project:
- Increase positive public awareness of humanist services in Europe
- Create active role-specific networks for every humanist practitioner in Europe
- Have a shared understanding of (and platform for) shared standards (minimum quality standards, assessment tools etc)
European Humanist organisations are at different stages of development, varying from those that have lots of staff to those reliant totally on volunteers, and the plan is to help countries progress and develop by using the shared experience and shared material of others.
The HAI is also a participating organisation in the European Policy Forum, which is being led by the newly appointed European Advocacy Officer, Tania Giacomuzzi Mota. At the meeting in Rome, Tania presented her plans for the year ahead. The purpose of the European Policy Forum is to
- Share political intelligence on relevant advocacy issues in the national context
- Understand the experiences and case-studies of Forum members
- Enable the Forum members, and their organisations, to support each other in taking advocacy actions
- Enable Humanists International to give advice to Forum members on advocating for priority issues in an international context
One of the first actions of the European Policy Forum is the creation of a European Humanist Pledge. The election pledge will set out our humanist priorities and asks candidate MEPs to sign it and commit to it ahead of the European elections in 2024.