Racism & related intolerances

Despite a number of legal instruments that offer protection against racism and related forms of intolerance, ethnic and religious minorities across the EU continue to face racism, discrimination, verbal and physical violence, and exclusion.

For policy makers to take considered decisions on means to combat racism, they need information from the ground in addition to their knowledge of international and European legislation. FRA research provides evidence of racism and related intolerances, as well as the unequal treatment of ethnic minorities, while the agency’s studies also supply information about the fight against discrimination in key areas of social life.

All EU member states have accepted the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). They are therefore obliged to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all forms of racial discrimination and incitement to racial hatred.

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin and religion or belief. The EU has passed detailed legislation that addresses discrimination in various areas of life. Member states are also bound to combat public incitement to violence and hatred against people of different race, colour, religion, or national or ethnic descent by means of criminal law.

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Lessons from the past to help tackle antisemitism today

Tens of thousands of Jewish businesses and over 200 synagogues were destroyed and hundreds of people murdered or driven to death on Kristallnacht, 9-10 November 1938. The antisemitic pogrom that these events were a part of sowed the seeds of the Holocaust. Its anniversary reminds us that complacency is not an option, as antisemitism continues to haunt Europe today.

Training in Romania looks at antisemitism, discrimination and xenophobia

FRA addressed about 100 representatives of the Romanian police forces from 5 to 6 July during a capacity building workshop for Romanian police officers on how to implement the specific legislation on hate crime, Holocaust denial, antisemitism and other manifestations of xenophobia, discrimination or racism.

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Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II) Roma – Selected findings

Some 80% of Roma surveyed live below their country’s at-risk-of-poverty threshold; every third Roma lives in housing without tap water; every third Roma child lives in a household where someone went to bed hungry at least once in the previous month; and 50 % of Roma between the ages of six and 24 do not attend school. This report underscores an unsettling but unavoidable reality: the European Union’s largest ethnic minority continues to face intolerable discrimination and unequal access to vital services.

Incitement in media content and political discourse in Member States of the European Union

Media content and political discourse in EU Member States, whether online or offline, show incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence on different grounds, as evidence collected by FRA reveals. The growing reliance on the internet as the main source of information for many enables the fast spread of often unverified statements that could also incite to hatred.

Fundamental Rights Report 2016

Annual report
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015. Some of these efforts produced important progress; others fell short of their aims. Meanwhile, various global developments brought new – and exacerbated existing – challenges.