Overview of the Forum

European society is characterized by growing ethnic, national and religious diversity. At the same time, there is a rise in populism and agitation against this diversity which is often expressed through social exclusion, hate speech and narratives of fear. Interreligious and intercultural dialogue are central to addressing these divisions. Religious actors are well positioned to support and strengthen processes of solidarity and social cohesion as their communities respect and trust their guidance and expertise. However they need to be able to reach policymakers – for support and to ensure coordinated efforts – but the platforms to help them get there are seriously lacking. 

The European Policy Dialogue Forum brings religious actors, policymakers and experts together. The Forum provides a platform to establish and strengthen their channels of communication, listen to one another’s concerns, identify opportunities for support and cooperation and, in the final step, develop recommendations to provide positive change. In 2021, the Forum is using the motto “Include, Engage, Empower“ and will spend the first two days discussing issues around the participation of refugees and migrants in host societies and use the final day to focus on countering hate speech efforts in Europe.

3rd European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants (19–20 October)
The 3rd European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants builds on the two previous Forums. It focuses on the ways in which religious organizations, policymakers and recent arrivals to Europe can encourage the participation of refugees and migrants in developing more inclusive societies in Europe.

High-Level Dialogue on Social Cohesion (21 October)
The need for structured exchanges between religious leaders and policymakers is becoming more pressing. Polarising influences are challenging the social cohesion of Europe and rising mistrust against minorities. In high-level dialogues, religious leaders and policymakers will address ways to counter hate speech.

To learn more please visit: Summary – European Policy Dialogue Forum 2021 (

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