SAR in Brussels to discuss academic freedom
On November 30th, to coincide with the release of the Free to Think 2022 report, SAR Europe’s Advocacy Manager, Denise Roche, and SAR’s Senior Advocacy Officer, Daniel Munier, were in Brussels for a series of meetings facilitated by the European External Action Service (EEAS). During the course of the day, they met with Luisa Ragher, Head of the Human Rights Division of the EEAS, to discuss the importance of integrating academic freedom within the EU’s human rights and political country dialogues. Later they addressed the EU Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM). COHOM includes representatives from the 27 EU member States and is responsible for shaping the EU’s position on human rights in EU foreign policy. Questions and statements of support for academic freedom emerged from Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania and Bulgaria. Following the COHOM meeting, Denise and Dan provided an introduction to academic freedom, and an overview of Free to Think to staff members of the human rights unit of the EEAS, as well as some select geographical desks including Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and China.