The European Court of Human Rights has stressed on numerous occasions that freedom of expression constitutes “one of the essential foundations of a democratic society”, and that “it is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population”.

And yet, several European countries – many of which are EU Member States – still condemn and penalize blasphemy and/or ‘insult’ to religion.