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Minister of Justice, Lithuania
European Commissioner for Home Affairs
Vice-President of the European Parliament
Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence
Director General for Democracy at the Council of Europe
Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Europe’s socio-economic crisis has proved fertile ground for prejudice and, in some cases, violence against the most vulnerable groups of our society, such as Roma, migrants, and ethnic and religious minorities. Evidence collected by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and other organisations shows that hate crime is a daily reality throughout the EU. Motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or by bias against a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, such crimes harm not only those targeted but entire communities. They thus strike at the heart of EU’s commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.
The Fundamental Rights Conference will invite over 300 decision makers and practitioners from across the EU to explore effective strategies to combat hate crime through legal and policy measures at the national as well as EU level.
Interviews conducted with victims of hate crime during the conference
The Fundamental Rights Conference (FRC) is a high level annual event, organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). This year’s conference will focus on the issue of ‘Combating hate crime in the EU’ and will be hosted in cooperation with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference will aim to:
- To develop concrete proposals for follow-up on FRA’s opinions pertaining to hate crime, as formulated in its reports on the subject;
- To explore practical solutions for victim support services tailored to specific situation and needs of the victims of hate crime;
- To stimulate debate on hate crime and exchange ideas and practices on how to combat it on an EU as well as Member State levels;
- To pool evidence and expertise of a variety of stakeholders in view of the foreseen review of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law;
- To enhance cooperation between stakeholders at different levels to counter hate crime more effectively.