European muslims represent a very significant, well-educated and conscientious part of the population in European countries. They play an active role in implementing different Halal activities as they are active members of several global Halal organisations. But still there is not any form of pan-European organisation of Muslim stakeholders for Halal. Following different discussions, it has been realised that there are enough points which represent common understandings and agreement on most of the important Halal issues between European Muslim stakeholders.
Having that in mind, the first meeting of the ‘European Halal Initiative’ was held on the 31 January, in The Hague, Netherlands, as a platform to:
- identify, elaborate and discuss the most important Halal issues in Europe,
- prepare and promote a common position of Muslims regarding Halal issues,
- prepare and implement projects aiming to raise Halal awareness.
Notes from the Meeting on the ‘European Halal Initiative’
In the light of recent activities to change current practices in the Halal sector with the presentation of new initiatives regarding Halal standardisation, certification and accreditation, a group of European Muslim Halal stakeholders identified the need to create a unified platform to improve Halal activities in Europe.
The necessity of the following points were agreed upon:
- to protect the Muslim needs regarding Halal in muslim-minority countries,
- to ensure the integrity of Halal being governed by Muslims,
- to ensure the involvement of Islamic scholars at every stage of decision making,
- to instil consumer confidence in their purchase of Halal products,
- to understand the opportunities and challenges that each stakeholder faces within their respective jurisdiction, and to promote best practice of Halal.
- It was agreed that a further meeting will be arranged with the wider Muslim stakeholders to participate, contribute, and roadmap the ‘European Halal Initiative’,
- and establish, strengthen and cooperate with global Halal stakeholders.
The European Halal Initiative
The European Halal Initiative is open for representatives of muslim organisations and prominent muslim individuals from Europe, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organisations within Europe and outside, who share the same understanding of Islamic and Halal principles.
Participants at the first meeting were chosen from a selection of key institutions because of their individual engagement and overall contribution to the Halal industry in Europe.