The mandate of the Special Representative includes the following actions:

  • raise awareness and visibility by actively communicating the Organisation’s work and the Secretary General’s priorities to governments, relevant international organisations, religious organisations in the member states, political leaders, influencers and the general public, and enhance the Council of Europe’s regular dialogue with the above-mentioned stakeholders by working closely with all relevant structures within the Organisation;
  • develop a comprehensive response of the Council of Europe to antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of hate crimes by working closely with all relevant structures within the Organisation, including the Steering Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI) and European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI);
  • put forward specific proposals to the Secretary General on ways to strengthen Council of Europe assistance and advice to member states on how to combat antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious hatred and hate crimes in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and other Council of Europe relevant standards.


The Secretary General may, either of her own account or at the Special Representative’s recommendation, mandate her Special Representative to carry out a variety of tasks. These include preparing discussion papers and opinion editorials and representing her in international fora and in dialogue with national authorities. The Special Representative may also be tasked with co-ordinating the preparation of strategic documents including proposals for action to be undertaken by the Council of Europe.

The Special Representative will report to the Secretary General.


Daniel Holtgen (54) has been the Council of Europe’s Director of Communications since 2010. In addition, he was appointed to the newly created position of Special Representative of the Secretary General on antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious intolerance and hate crimes since November 2020. He previously worked in senior positions for the German government, including as chief spokesperson of the interior ministry and at the European Commission as adviser in the Directorate-General for EU Enlargement. Daniel is British and German and holds a Ph.D. in economic geography from the University of Cambridge. He has a diploma from the Catholic School of journalism in Munich.

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