European Humanist Federation

The European Humanist Federation (EHF, French: Fédération Humaniste Européenne, FHE), officially abbreviated as EHF-FHE,[1] is an umbrella of more than 60 humanist and secularist organisations from 25 European countries.[2][3]

European Humanist Federation
EHF Logo.png
Formation1991; 30 years ago (1991)
  • Brussels, Belgium
Official language
English, French[1]
Giulio Ercolessi

Founded in Prague in July 1991, the EHF today is based in Brussels, and currently presided over by Michael Bauer. Its advocacy activities are primarily focused on the European Parliament, European Commission, and other bodies associated with the European Union and Council of Europe, as part of its mission to promote a humanist vision of Europe. It is the largest umbrella organisation of humanist associations in Europe,[4] promoting a secular Europe, defending equal treatment of everyone regardless of religion or belief, and fighting religious conservatism and privilege in Europe and at the European Union level. The EHF also closely collaborates with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), which works at the United Nations level and with whom it shares members.

The EHF is the parent body of the European Humanist Professionals (EHP), which networks humanist celebrants, humanist pastoral carers, school speakers and educators, and the staff of the various European humanist associations into one professional body, focused on building best practice and expanding the availability of humanist charitable services across Europe.


The EHF promotes a secular state and opposes lobbying by religious organisations towards European institutions. The EHF aims to:


The EHF is recognised as an official partner of the European Union (EU) under Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It is therefore regularly invited to meet the Presidents of the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. The EHF also participates in meetings of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics (EPPSP).[7] At the EU level, it also works with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), whilst also collaborating with the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Examples of EHF campaignsEdit

  • Sexual and Reproductive Rights ARE Human Rights[8]
  • EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs: Securing a Balanced and Secular Approach
  • Keep Dogma Out of European Research
  • Opposing Tonio Borg's nomination at European Commission
  • No to Special Rights for Churches in the EU

The EHF also supports its 55 member organisations in the challenges they are facing at a domestic level and works in partnership with a large network of associations – including progressive religious organisations[8][9] – with whom it shared goals and interests, in order to oppose conservative religious lobbies across Europe.

A Vision for Europe and the Brussels DeclarationEdit

As the centrepiece of their campaign A Vision for Europe, that strove to uphold secularism within the EU, the EHF, the IHEU and Catholics for Choice (endorsed by the EPPSP[10]) jointly presented the "Brussels Declaration" on 27 February 2007 in the European Parliament, and also addressed to the 27 EU heads of government. It was widely supported by European politicians (signed by more than 80 MEPs), academics, scientists, Nobel Prize winners, writers and journalists.[11][12][13][14] The Brussels Declaration was a response to the would-be Berlin Declaration, which, being negotiated at the time and set to become the preamble to the amended EU Constitution, contained references to God and the supposed "Christian roots of Europe".[11][12][13] Eventually these references were left out, and a strong emphasis on individual rights and dignity included, much to the relief of David Pollock (former EHF president), Sophie in 't Veld (EPPSP chairwoman) and Roy W. Brown (former IHEU president), the last of whom called it "a victory for Secularism in Europe".[14]


The following list contains all member organisations of the EHF (as of 2014).[2][3]
Note: Official English names of organisations are given priority. Organisations that lack an official English name have been translated as literally as possible whilst retaining their intended meaning and complying with English grammar and conventions.

English name / local name (abbreviation) Founded Region served Notes
Alliance of Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics Luxembourg / Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker Lëtzebuerg[15] (AHA) 2010[16]   Luxembourg
Association of Freethought "Giordano Bruno" / Associazione del Libero Pensiero "Giordano Bruno"[17] 1906   Italy
Atheist Union of Greece / Ενωση Αθεων[18] (Énosi Atheon) 2010   Greece
British Humanist Association[19] (BHA) 1896   United Kingdom
Center for Inquiry Romania / Fundatia Centrul pentru Conştiinţă Critică [20][21] (CCC) 2007   Romania Romanian Center for Inquiry branch
Central London Humanists[22] (CLH) 2007[23]   United Kingdom
Centre for Secular Action / Centre d’Action laïque[24] (CAL) 1969   Belgium
Conway Hall Ethical Society[25] 1787   United Kingdom
Council for Inspection and Guidance non-confessional Ethics / Raad voor Inspectie en Begeleiding niet-confessionele Zedenleer[26] (RIBZ) 1993   Belgium Executive agency of the Flemish Government
Danish Atheist Society / Ateistisk Selskab[27] 2002   Denmark
EQUAL Equality Secularity Europe / EGALE Egalité Laïcité Europe[28] (EGALE) 2004   France
ETHOS – Ethics Tolerance Humanism Citizenship Secularism / ETHOS – Etika Tolerancia Humanizmus Občianstvo Sekularizmus[29] (ETHOS) 2013   Slovakia Member since 2014.[30]
Europe and Secularity Movement / Mouvement Europe et Laïcité[31] 1954   France
European Humanist Professionals[32] (EHP) 1994   Europe
Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia Foundation / Fundació Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia / Fundación Francisco Ferrer Guardia[33] 1987   Spain
Freethinkers Association of Switzerland / Freidenker-Vereinigung der Schweiz[34] (FVS/ASLP/FAS) 1908[35]    Switzerland
Freethinkers League of Austria / Freidenkerbund Österreichs[36] 1887   Austria
Freethinkers Union / Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto ry[37] 1945   Finland Finnish umbrella organisation
Galha LGBT Humanists[38] (Galha[39]) 1979   United Kingdom Based in the UK, internationally active.
Gaston-Crémieux Circle / Cercle Gaston-Crémieux[40] 1967   France Non-Zionist Jewish secularists
Giordano Bruno Foundation / Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung[41] (gbs) 2004   Germany
Good Sense / Здравомыслие (Zdravomyslie)[42] 2010   Russia
HSHB Foundation / Stichting HSHB[43][44] 1960   Netherlands
Humanist Association of Ireland[45] (HAI) 1993   Ireland
Humanist Cultural Education / Humanistisch Vormingsonderwijs[46] 1980   Netherlands Executive agency of the Dutch Government
Humanist Federation / Humanistisk Samfund[47] 2008   Denmark Danish umbrella organisation
Humanist Historical Centre[48] / Humanistisch Historisch Centrum[49] (HHC) 1996   Netherlands
Humanist League / Humanistisch Verbond[50] (HV) 1946   Netherlands
Humanist Association of Germany / Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands[51] (HVD) 1993   Germany German umbrella organisation
Humanist Society Scotland[52] (HSS) 1989   Scotland
Humanist Union of Greece / Ένωση Ουμανιστών/-τριών Ελλάδας[53] (Énosi Oumanistón/-trión Elládas) (ΕΝΩ.ΟΥΜ.Ε) 2010   Greece
Humanist-Liberal Association / Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging[54] (HVV) 1951   Belgium
Humanists UK[55] (Humanists UK) 1896   United Kingdom Formerly known as the British Humanist Association.
Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association / Siðmennt, félag siðrænna húmanista á Íslandi[56] (Siðmennt) 1990   Iceland
League of Education / La Ligue de l’enseignement[57] (La Ligue) 1866   France French educational umbrella organisation
League of Freely Religious Communities of Germany / Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands[58] (BFGD) 1859   Germany German umbrella organisation
Liberal Study, Archive and Documentation Centre "Karel Cuypers" / Vrijzinnig Studie-, Archief- en Documentatiecentrum "Karel Cuypers"[59] (VSAD) 1986   Belgium
Malta Humanist Association[60] (MHA) 2010   Malta
National Coordination of Councils for the Secularity of Institutions / Coordinamento Nazionale delle Consulte per la Laicità delle Istituzioni[61] 2005[62]   Italy Italian umbrella organisation
National Secular Society[63] (NSS) 1866   United Kingdom
North East Humanists[64] (NEH) 1957   United Kingdom
Norwegian Humanist Association / Human-Etisk Forbund[65] (HEF) 1956   Norway
Polish Humanist Association "Sapere Aude" / Towarzystwa Humanistycznego "Sapere Aude"[66] (PHA) 1991   Poland Polish Center for Inquiry branch
Prometheus Society / Spoločnosť Prometheus[67] 1990   Slovakia
Rationalist Union / Union Rationaliste[68] (UR) 1930   France
Romanian Humanist Association / Asociaţia Umanistă Română[69] (AUR) 2008   Romania
Romanian Secular-Humanist Association / Asociaţia Secular-Umanistă din România[70] (ASUR) 2010   Romania
Russian Humanist Society / Российское гуманистическое общество (Rossíjskoje gumanístičeskoje óbščestvo)[71] (РГО/RGO) 1995   Russia
Secular Europe / Europa Laica[72] (EL) 2001   Spain
Secular Humanism Portugal / Humanismo Secular Portugal[73] (HSP) 2009   Portugal
South West London Humanists[74] (SWL Humanists) 2009[75]   United Kingdom
Swedish Humanist Association / Humanisterna[76] (SHA) 1979   Sweden
Umbrella Organisation of Free Worldview Communities / Dachverband Freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften (DFW) [77] 1949   Germany German umbrella organisation
Union Liberal Associations / Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen[78] (UVV) 1966   Belgium Flemish umbrella organisation
Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics / Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti[79] (UAAR) 1986   Italy
Union of Secular Families / Union des Familles Laïques[80] (UFAL) 1988   France

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b According to Chapter I, Article 2 of the EHF-FHE bylaws.
  2. ^ a b "European Humanist Federation". Transparency Register. European Parliament / European Commission. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Members". EHF website. European Humanist Federation. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ Member Organisations Archived 2012-11-12 at the Wayback Machine European Humanist Federation's Member organisations
  5. ^ "A secular Europe". EHF website. EHF. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "Humanists stand for human rights". EHF website. EHF. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Advisory Board". EPPSP website. European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Joint Statement by civil society organisations calling on MEPs to support the Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights". EHF website. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Catholics Join European NGOs Coalition in Appeal to Convention Not to Give Religion Unfair Influence in Constitutional Treaty". U.S. Newswire. PR Newswire. 22 May 2003.
  10. ^ During the 2004–2009 parliamentary term, the EPPSP was known as "European Parliament all-party group on Separation of Religion and Politics".
  11. ^ a b International Humanist and Ethical Union, Catholics for a Free Choice, European Humanist Federation (27 February 2007). "A Vision for Europe: Launch of the Brussels Declaration on Europe's Universal Values". Polish Humanist Association website. Polish Humanist Association. Retrieved 10 October 2014.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b "Säkuläre Werte für Europa: Brüsseler Erklärung zu Würde, Gleichheit und Freiheit". PR Newswire Europe (in German). 27 February 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Actie om Europese Unie te vrijwaren van religieuze invloeden". NRC Next (in Dutch). 27 February 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ a b "EU Berlin Declaration "a victory for Secularism"". IHEU website. International Humanist and Ethical Union. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  15. ^ (in German, English, French, and Luxembourgish) "AHA in ENGLISH". AHA website. AHA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  16. ^ (in German and French) "AHA Lëtzebuerg stellt sich vor". AHA website. AHA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Associazione Nazionale del Libero Pensiero "Giordano Bruno"". Associazione Nazionale del Libero Pensiero "Giordano Bruno" website (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale del Libero Pensiero "Giordano Bruno". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  18. ^ ΣΥΣΤΑΤΙΚΗ ΠΡΑΞΗ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΤΙΚΟ ΣΩΜΑΤΕΙΟΥ ΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΕΠΩΝΥΜΙΑ: ΕΝΩΣΗ ΑΘΕΩΝ. Atheist Union of Greece bylaws (in Greek). Atheist Union of Greece. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  19. ^ "About The BHA". BHA website. British Humanist Association. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  20. ^ "About us". CCC website. Center for Inquiry Romania. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Why is Secularism essential? International Conference in Gothenburg/Sweden on the occasion of International Women's Day 2009" (PDF). Organisation for Women's Liberation – Iran website. Organisation for Women's Liberation – Iran. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  22. ^ "About us". CLH website. Central London Humanists. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Central London Humanists (London, England)". Meetup. Meetup Inc. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Histoire". CAL website (in French). Centre d'Action laïque. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  25. ^ "Beginnings". Conway Hall website. Conway Hall Ethical Society. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  26. ^ Founding members of RIBZ (1 December 1993). "Statuten Ribz". RIBZ bylaws (in Dutch). RIBZ. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  27. ^ "Om foreningen". Ateistisk Selskab bylaws (in Danish). Ateistisk Selskab. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  28. ^ "Notre association". EGALE website (in French). EGALE. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  29. ^ (in English, German, and Slovak) "About us". ETHOS website. ETHOS. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  30. ^ "ETHOS je členom EHF". ETHOS website (in Slovak). ETHOS. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  31. ^ "Origines et objectifs du Mouvement Europe et Laïcité". MEL website (in French). Mouvement Europe et Laïcité. 28 November 1998. Retrieved 17 September 2014. (MEL)
  32. ^ "Organisation". EHP website. EHP. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  33. ^ (in Catalan and Spanish) "Missió". Fundació Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  34. ^ French: Association Suisse des Libres Penseurs; Italian: Associazione svizzera dei liberi pensatori. (in English, French, German, and Italian) "Freethinkers Association of Switzerland". FAS website. Freethinkers Association of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  35. ^ The FAS originated from the fusion of several local Swiss groups created since 1870; it regards the establishment of the Deutschschweizer Freidenker-Vereinigung in 1908 as its (primary) foundation. "2008: 100 Jahre FVS". FAS website (in German). Freethinkers Association of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  36. ^ "Geschichte". Freidenkerbund Österreichs website (in German). Freidenkerbund Österreichs. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  37. ^ "Historia". Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto website (in Finnish). Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  38. ^ "History". Galha website. Galha LGBT Humanists. Retrieved 26 September 2014./
  39. ^ Galha stands for 'Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association'.
  40. ^ "Historique et positionnement". Cercle Gaston-Crémieux website (in French). Cercle Gaston-Crémieux. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  41. ^ "Chronology of the most important events". gbs website. Giordano Bruno Foundation. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  42. ^ "Mission and purposes". Good Sense website. Good Sense. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  43. ^ Originally, HSHB stood for Humanistische Stichting voor Huisvesting van Bejaarden ("Humanist Foundation for Housing of the Elderly").
  44. ^ "Home". Stichting HSHB website (in Dutch). Stichting HSHB. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  45. ^ "About Us". HAI website. Humanist Association of Ireland. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  46. ^ "Korte historie". Humanistisch Vormingsonderwijs website (in Dutch). Centrum voor Humanistische Vorming. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  47. ^ "Vedtægter". Humanistisk Samfund bylaws (in Danish). Humanistisk Samfund. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  48. ^ Formerly Het Humanistisch Archief
  49. ^ "Humanistisch Historisch Centrum". HHC website (in Dutch). HHC. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  50. ^ "Geschiedenis". HV website (in Dutch). Humanistisch Verbond. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  51. ^ "20 Jahre Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands". HVD website (in German). Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands. 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  52. ^ "The history of HSS". HSS website. Humanist Society Scotland. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  53. ^ Ένωση Ουμανιστών/-τριών Ελλάδας. Facebook (in Greek). Humanist Union of Greece. 16 January 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  54. ^ "HVV geschiedenis en standpunten". HVV website (in Dutch). HVV. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  55. ^ "About The BHA". BHA website. Humanists UK. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  56. ^ Hope Knútsson (1 July 2011). "What is Sidmennt?". Siðmennt website. Siðmennt. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  57. ^ "Rejoindre la ligue". La Ligue website (in French). La Ligue de l’enseignement. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  58. ^ "Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands". BFGD website (in German). Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  59. ^ "Geschiedenis". CAVA website (in Dutch). Centrum voor Academische en Vrijzinnige Archieven. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  60. ^ "Malta Humanist Association Statute". MHA website. Malta Humanist Association. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  61. ^ "Il Coordinamento delle Consulte". Turinese branch website (in Italian). Consulta Torinese per la Laicità delle Istituzioni. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  62. ^ "Chi siamo". Turinese branch website (in Italian). Consulta Torinese per la Laicità delle Istituzioni. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  63. ^ "National Secular Society". NSS website. National Secular Society. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  64. ^ "Who we are". NEH website. North East Humanists. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  65. ^ "Background". HEF website. Norwegian Humanist Association. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  66. ^ Andrzej Dominiczak. "Humanism & Polish Humanist Association". PHA website. Polish Humanist Association. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  67. ^ (in English and Slovak) "About us". Prometheus Society website. Prometheus Society. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  68. ^ "Qui sommes nous?". Union Rationaliste website (in French). Union Rationaliste. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  69. ^ "Despre Noi". AUR (in Romanian). Asociaţia Umanistă Română. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  70. ^ "Despre Noi". ASUR. Asociaţia Secular-Umanistă din România. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  71. ^ Российское гуманистическое общество: новый старт. RGO website (in Russian). Russian Humanist Society. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  72. ^ "Europa Laica". Europa Laica website (in Spanish). Europa Laica. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  73. ^ "Humanismo Secular Portugal". HSP website (in Portuguese). Humanismo Secular Portugal. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  74. ^ "Humanism in SW London". SWL Humanists website. SWL Humanists. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  75. ^ "SW London Humanists UK". Meetup. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  76. ^ "In English". SHA website. Swedish Humanist Association. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  77. ^ Volker Mueller; Horst Prem. "Kurzdarstellung (englisch)". DFW website. Dachverband Freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  78. ^ "Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen". UVV website (in Dutch). Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  79. ^ "Storia dell'UAAR". UAAR website (in Italian). UAAR. 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  80. ^ "Qu'est-ce que l'UFAL?". UFAL website (in French). UFAL. Retrieved 18 September 2014.

External linksEdit