URI Europe Report

URI Europe Bulgaria


URI Europe officially has been registered in January 2001. The certificate has been signed by King Leopold of Belgium.

In 2007 we were honored by the Golden Stars Award of the European Commission.

And just by the way, Sheich Bashir got the German Federal Republic order of merit for his work in interfaith dialogue in Germany. And from the US Government he has been honored with the award of valor, which makes him a hero of the United States. He can be buried in Arlington!

The chair of URI Europe, Patric Hanjoul received the Pantheon Award for his local and European interreligious word. As well as three other board members hold important medals of their respective countries, honoring their interfaith and civil society work.

Patric Hanjoul, a Roman Catholic Priest, has been president of Bond Sonder Nam, our largest Cooperation Circle (CC) for about 25 years. Bond Sonder Nam is a voluntary movement of more than 150.000 members! They support us constantly a lot financially, and also with bookkeeping, auditing, layours, printings, mailings and so on. Without this help and the support of URI we couldn’t have existed.

This allows us to have about 5 meetings per year, mostly in Brussels. And to hold meetings and regional conferences in different countries.

Our main focus is to serve the CCs and to strengthen the network.

Recently, in April this year, we had a URI Europe Conference in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where our friend Father Petar has established in between 7 CCs! This conference was for the European CCs to come to know each other, work together and to find ways to celebrate as one European family.

At that occasion it was very meaningful for us to have the visit of Victor and Sally.

URI Europe will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2016. We prepare a meeting for October.

In former years, URI Europe Conferences took place at Paris/France, where we met our new partner Coexisté. Further in Istanbul (Turkey, 2010), Antwerp (Belgium, 2007), Brussels (Belgium, 2005), Barcelona (Spain, 2004), Berlin (Germany, 2002), at the European Parliament at Brussels 2002, UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 2000, Dobogókö, (Hungery 2000), Antwerp (Belgium 1997), Oxford (UK, 1997).

We made several URI Europe Workshops and Events in Partnerships, like in Den Haag (Netherlands) Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzogevina), Dresden (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Berlin and Grügelborn (Germany), Brno (Czech Republic), Varna (Bulgaria), Prishtina (Kosovo), Mehdiya/Kuneitra (Morocco), Baia Mare (Romania).

We carried URI booths to represent URI at interfaith events and congresses.

A very highlight was the “Interfaith Symphony”, an interfaith concert and dialogue event at Antwerp, Belgium in 2007. There exists also a film of this spectacular event.

Members of the Assembly hold the contact to CCs in Europe, so I myself visited our CC at Lienz in Austria and Barcelona (Spain) as well as our CCs in Germany.

On the other hand Matthew Youde, our Associate Director of Global Programs for Youth Leadership Development, visited our CCs at Barcelona and Bonn. He took part also at our Assembly meetings for several times.

And last but not least – and this toes without saying – we are in constant contact with the Global Council staff.