The Council of Europe’s anti-discrimination commission, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has published today new reports on Denmark and Serbia. Both countries have made some progress but nevertheless, the fulfilment of the ERCI’s recommendations leaves much to be desired.
In Denmark, ECRI welcomed the authorities’ support to the civil society organizations working with integration; increasing diversity in policing thanks to the recruitment of more officers from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as the steps to address the social marginalization of members of the Greenlandic Inuit community. However, the non-compliance with the previous recommendations vis-à-vis refugees, namely, new tightened rules for family reunification, remains of concern. Racist hate speech remains a problem, as well as the authorities’ failure to tackle the problem of school segregation.
As for Serbia, some improvements were noted in the anti-hate legislation and practices, as well as in the efforts to reconcile with the war past, the situation of Roma and policies vis-à-vis LGBT people. The fact that Radio and TV of Serbia recognized its role as propaganda tool in the 90’s, and that the Parliament and the President apologised for the Srebrenica massacre was also commended by ECRI. Nevertheless, the ECRI deplores the fact that neither of them has explicitly recognised these massacres as genocide and deeply regrets the slow progress made in the prosecution of and sentencing for war crimes. Other negative developments identified were the rise of hate speech in public discourse, violence against Roma and LGBT persons, as well as racist behaviour of football fans. The ECRI stresses the need for authorities to address the problem and to ban racist sports fan clubs.
In addition, ECRI has published four country conclusions on Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland looking at how the countries implemented priority recommendations of the previous monitoring rounds.