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Annual Report 2012 [en] - [fr]

Press Release – 25.10.2013
ECRI urges Europe’s governments to address trends in racism and intolerance

Strasbourg, 25.10.2013 - European countries need to come to terms with their multicultural identity and acknowledge the important role that immigration plays in the economy, asserted the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in its annual report just published.

Acute financial instability and a subsequent increase in resentment and prejudice against immigrants, Muslims and Roma people in particular, are some of the worrying trends identified during ECRI’s country visits in 2012. ECRI notes that xenophobic parties have attracted increasing support and representation in the parliaments of several European countries, and a marked rise in racially motivated hate speech via the internet.

The report regrets that, in certain countries, Roma children face obstacles accessing education and are segregated in schools. ECRI considers the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies an opportunity to strengthen social inclusion of Roma, and encourages all member states of the Council of Europe – not just the EU members - to implement similar strategies.

ECRI also calls for states to pursue a constructive dialogue with representatives of Muslim communities and the media, to encourage debate and foster inter-religious dialogue.

“Combating racism and intolerance can only be effective if the message filters down to society in general. Awareness-raising and a communication strategy are, therefore, essential”, said ECRI Chair Eva Smith.

The full report is available here

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”, ethnic/national origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI see www.coe.int/ecri

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int