As a rule of thumb, anything political with “Brussels” in the title sets alarm bells ringing, and in the culinary world, mention of the word “Brussels” together with “sprouts” can cause near panic in some for entirely different reasons. However, on this occasion, something positive took place in Brussels this week which brought together a group of like-minded people from across Europe, and some from beyond, to initiate what they term the “Brussels Process”, which is defined on the Gates of Vienna blog as “a continuing series of events that will strengthen free speech and civil liberties in the West, and provide an alternative to the notorious “Istanbul Process”.” The occasion for its launch was provided by the International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights, initiated by the International Civil Liberties Alliance and hosted at the EU Parliament with the co-sponsorship of two MEPs: Philip Claeys (Vlaams Belang, Belgium) and Magdi Allam (UDC, Italy). The ICLA press release states:
On 9 July, the International Civil Liberties Alliance presented an International Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels. Over 100 people from numerous, countries, cultures, and backgrounds took part in this milestone event at which Lars Hedegaard of the Danish Free Press Society received the “Defender of Freedom” award.