EP Research Service Briefings are prepared for, and addressed to, the Members and staff of the European Parliament as background material to assist them in their parliamentary work.

“Since 11 September 2001, the European Union has been increasingly confronted by religious crises in a world in which globalisation is reshaping religious demography. In parallel with similar developments in the Member States and the United States, the EU has developed instruments to give greater consideration to religious trends when addressing human rights concerns and engaging key partner countries. Faith-based organisations are playing a pivotal role in a number of new fields, including climate change, development, and conflict resolution, and the EU is taking them increasingly into account. In addition, religion plays an important role in the internal and external policies of some key EU partners, as this study shows in annexes. That is why this field is slowly emerging as a new dimension in the EU’s external policies.”