All different, all equal: ECRI 10 years of combating racism – 18 March 2004 

Terrorism must be combated without stigmatising certain groups, says Rita Verdonk

Rita Verdonk, Dutch Minister for Immigration and Integration (left) and Michael Head, Chair of ECRI (right)

18.03.2004 - The Dutch Minister for Immigration and Integration, speaking at the Council of Europe on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ECRI, said that Europe, being free and open, was vulnerable to terrorist activities. It was important to work together to attack this scourge and to support democracy, but without stigmatising certain groups.

She pointed out that Europe was experiencing significant demographic changes; migrants were living in their own communities and adopting their own lifestyles, with their children growing up in a no man's land, trapped between two cultures.

According to the Minister, we needed to make clear our values, require immigrants to speak the language of their host country, concern ourselves with education and make institutions accessible. She also expressed her intention of emphasising integration policies.