„A new European Union scheme, championed by an official who sings the praises of „political Islam,“ advocates expanding religious influence over all areas of European public life, to little opposition. Meanwhile, in the United States, the question of religion in the public sphere continues to be debated vigorously and opposed by secularists on both sides of the political spectrum. One case currently brought before the Supreme Court, opposed by groups such as the ACLU, is considering whether state governments might be compelled to subsidize private religious schools.
Such careful deliberation is rarely seen in Europe. Religious institutions operate under a rather different set of rules – religious bodies already exert significant political influence, receive enormous amounts of taxpayer funding, and are often deputized by governments to provide community and welfare services.
The EU hopes to build on that further. In September 2019, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announced the launch of an initiative titled „Global Exchange on Religion in Society,“ which she presented as an unobjectionable extension of the European Union’s existing student exchange program but „for civil society actors who work on faith.“ “ (…) (Hervorhebung GB)