The Agency's data collection work over recent years shows that few European Union (EU) Member States have official data and statistics on antisemitic incidents. Even where data exist, they are not comparable, since they are collected using different definitions and methodologies. Furthermore, in many EU Member States Jewish organisations or other civil society organisations do not collect data on antisemitic incidents in a systematic way, as there is no complaints mechanism in place to receive and investigate allegations. Where such data exists, usually as lists of cases, they are collected ad hoc by civil society organisations or are based on media reports with varying degrees of validity and reliability.
Across most EU Member States, as the FRA has repeatedly noted, there is a serious problem of underreporting, particularly in reference to official systems of data collection that are based on police records and criminal justice data, because not all officially registered antisemitic incidents are categorised under the heading 'antisemitism', and/or because not all antisemitic incidents are reported to an official body by victims or witnesses.
In unofficial data collection or when the methodology applied is insufficiently robust the same incident may be recorded twice under different categories, for example, under both ‘defamation' and under ‘property damage'. In view of the lack of robust and comparable data showing the extent to which Jews in the EU are subject to discrimination, hate crime and hate speech, the FRA decided in 2011 to launch a major survey on the Jewish population in EU Member States. The issues to be covered will include experiences and perceptions of discrimination (direct, indirect and harassment) in key areas of social life, such as education, housing, health and employment, as well as experiences and perceptions of hate crime and hate speech, and, in addition, awareness of available legal remedies.
The survey design will be developed in close consultation with key stakeholders, including representatives of Jewish communities in the European Union.