European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Press release in Dutch

Combating racial discrimination and intolerance in the Netherlands: Round Table of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in The Hague

Date: 30 June 2014
Venue: Communication Museum – Zeestraat 80/82 - The Hague
Organisers: ECRI in co-operation with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

Objectives: provide the participants with the opportunity to discuss the follow-up to the recommendations contained in ECRI’s monitoring report on the Netherlands, published in 2013. The round table will be divided into four sessions:

  • ECRI report’s main findings
  • Preventing racism and intolerance: the role of the national and local authorities
  • Combating hate speech and intolerance
  • Fostering integration of vulnerable groups

Opening statements will be made by Ronald Plasterk, Minister of Interior Affairs, Barbara John, ECRI’s Vice-Chair, and Laurien Koster, Chair of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. ECRI’s report on the Netherlands will be presented by Siniša Bjeković, Rovshan Ismayilov and Baldur KristjŠnsson, ECRI members.

In addition to national and local authorities, the round table will bring together representatives of the judiciary and the media, international organisations and NGOs, as well as members of vulnerable groups. This event aims at contributing positively to the national debate on combating racial discrimination and intolerance in the country, as well as raising awareness among the general public about these issues.

In its fourth report on the Netherlands of June 2013, ECRI noted a number of steps forward but expressed concern about other issues, such as the cutting of funds for various anti-discrimination structures, changing attitudes to integration and the cost of residence permits. Moreover, it was reported that certain politicians and media often portray Islam and Muslims, as well as the arrival of Eastern Europeans, as a threat to Dutch society. The criminal-law response to some of these statements has been criticised.

The round table is open to the press. It will start at 9 am and end at 5 pm on Monday 30 June 2014.

Link to the programme:



Link to ECRI’s report:



ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

Press contact:
For ECRI Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28,
For the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights: Marysha Molthoff, Tel: +31 (0)30 888 3 888