News Item

Stop discrimination and ethnic profiling in Europe

daniilvolkov ©, 2021
Following repeated evidence of racism in policing in some EU countries, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) calls on EU Member States to step up their efforts and effectively fight discrimination, harassment, and violence against ethnic minorities in Europe.

“No one should be targeted just because of their skin colour, clothing or religion. No one should be afraid of a police stop. The EU and its Member States need to step up their efforts to tackle racism and build trust in our societies,” says FRA director Michael O’Flaherty.

The findings of FRA’s paper ‘Your Rights Matter: Police Stops’ shed light on people’s experiences with police stops across Europe.

Together with FRA’s reports on ‘Being Black in the EU’ and ‘Muslims in the EU’, it shows that ethnic minorities often experience racist harassment and violence, including at the hands of the police:

  • Frequency – the police stop people from ethnic minorities more often than people generally.
  • Who is stopped – the police most often stop men, young people, ethnic minorities, Muslims or people who do not identify as heterosexual. In some countries, police stopped almost 50 % of people from certain minorities, shows the EU Minorities and Discrimination Survey.
  • Police searches – the police searched or asked 34% of ethnic minorities for their identity papers compared to 14% of people generally.
  • Treatment – 80% of people generally say that the police treated them respectfully, compared to 46% of minorities.
  • Ethnic profiling – ethnic profiling is still common across Europe. In some countries, over 80% of ethnic minorities perceived the most recent police stop as ethnic profiling.
  • Police trust – minorities’ trust in public authorities drops significantly among those who experienced ethnic profiling.

FRA’s 2023 Fundamental Rights Report also highlights  that discriminatory profiling practices persist.

FRA renews its call on EU countries to fight discrimination and end unlawful ethnic profiling.

To support police officers in avoiding this practice, FRA published a Guide on how to avoid unlawful profiling. The guide includes practical information the police can use in their everyday work.


For more information, please contact: or +43 1 58030 653