Procedure : 2018/2869(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0482/2018

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PV 25/10/2018 - 13.12
CRE 25/10/2018 - 13.12
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0481/2018

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the rise in neo-fascist violence in Europe (2018/2869(RSP))

Soraya Post on behalf of the S&D Group
Ana Miranda, Ernest Urtasun, Bodil Valero, Terry Reintke, Ska Keller, Molly Scott Cato, Jordi Solé, Josep‑Maria Terricabras on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Eleonora Forenza, Merja Kyllönen, Patrick Le Hyaric, Marie‑Pierre Vieu, Marie‑Christine Vergiat, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Cornelia Ernst, Sabine Lösing, Kateřina Konečná, Jiří Maštálka, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Martin Schirdewan, Stefan Eck, Malin Björk, Ángela Vallina, Marisa Matias, Paloma López Bermejo, Stelios Kouloglou, Dimitrios Papadimoulis on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the rise in neo-fascist violence in Europe (2018/2869(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

–  having regard to the report of 27 August 2014 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence,

–  having regard to the report of 9 May 2017 by the UN Special Rapporteur report on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 71/179 of 19 December 2016 on ‘Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance’,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3, 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin(1) (the Race Equality Directive),

–  having regard to 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(2),

–  having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations(4),

–  having regard to the establishment in June 2016 of the EU High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance,

–  having regard to the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation,

–  having regard to the Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter enshrine values and principles common to all Member States; whereas neo-fascism runs counter to these values and principles;

B.  whereas as enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU, the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities; whereas these values are common to all Member States;

C.  whereas the lack of serious action against fascist and far-right movements has enabled the current xenophobic surge in Europe;

D.  whereas openly neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, racist and xenophobic groups and political parties have been inciting hatred and violence in society against ‘alleged enemies’;

E.  whereas, as reported by Europol(5), the EU Security Commissioner Sir Julian King, speaking at an event on 22 March 2017 to commemorate the 2016 Brussels attacks, highlighted the growing menace of right-wing violent extremism, stating that he was not aware of a single EU Member State that is not affected by the phenomenon in some way, specifically citing the Breivik massacre in Norway, the assassination of British MP Jo Cox, and attacks on asylum centres and mosques across Europe to highlight what he warned was a ‘less reported’ threat to security;

F.  whereas neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations manifest themselves in a variety of forms; whereas most neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations appeal to the principle of freedom of speech; whereas the right to freedom of speech is not absolute;

G.  whereas Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that nothing in the declaration ‘may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth’ therein;

H.  whereas Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination affirms that its States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organisations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin;

I.  whereas Europol reported a near doubling in the number of individuals arrested for right-wing extremist offences in 2017(6);

J.  whereas on 22 July 2011, 77 people were killed and 151 injured in the Norway attacks;

K.  whereas on 16 June 2016 Jo Cox, a British Member of Parliament, was brutally murdered in Birstall, the United Kingdom, by a person who held far-right views and was found guilty of her murder on 23 November 2016 and sentenced to a whole-life term of imprisonment;

L.  whereas three Hungarian militants were sentenced for life for killing six Roma people, including a small child, and injuring several other Roma people in 2008 and 2009;

M.  whereas members of the German National Socialist Underground (NSU) group murdered nine Turkish- and Greek-born immigrants, as well as a German policewoman between 2000 and 2006; whereas a parliamentary committee of the German Bundestag uncovered several instances where security services appeared to hide what they knew about the group, leading to a failure to stop the actions of this group for years;

N.  whereas according to the report entitled ‘2017 Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)’ by the German domestic intelligence agency Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), 1 054 acts of extreme right-wing violence were committed in Germany in 2017;

O.  whereas five foiled, failed or completed terrorist attacks attributed to far-right individuals were reported in 2017 to Europol by the UK(7);

P.  whereas the trial of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, on charges of being a criminal organisation and of the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas, among other crimes, including attempted murder, is still ongoing in Greece;

Q.  whereas Greece has seen a rise in far-right attacks against social centres, activists, members of parliament, refugees, migrants and lawyers, including against the lawyer of the Fyssas family; whereas the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) documented in 2017, through interviews with victims, 102 incidents of violence against refugees, immigrants, members of the LGBTQI community and their defenders(8);

R.  whereas on 21 September 2018 LGBTQI activist Zak Kostopoulos was brutally assassinated in the centre of Athens; whereas one of the accused is allegedly related to extreme-right forces; whereas the Ministry of Public Order and the Greek police ordered a disciplinary investigation against several policemen after a new video revealed acts of violence against a man lying motionless and wounded on the ground; whereas several media outlets have engaged in discriminatory and insulting speech against the victim following his death and extreme-right groups demonstrated with homophobic and violent slogans at the place of his death(9);

S.  whereas an Italian man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for shooting and wounding six African migrants in a racially motivated attack in the central Italian city of Macerata;

T.  whereas on 3 August 2018 anti-racist groups in Italy warned of an acceleration in attacks on immigrants after 12 shootings, two murders and 33 physical assaults were recorded in a period of two months(10);

U.  whereas on 21 September 2018 militants of the neo-fascist party CasaPound assaulted a group of activists, including Eleonora Forenza MEP and her assistant Antonio Perillo, who suffered severe injuries, after an anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstration in Bari, Italy;

V.  whereas seven members of a far-right ‘vigilante’ group arrested in Chemnitz in mid-September 2018 for breaching the peace were recently arraigned on suspicion of forming a terrorist organisation calling itself Revolution Chemnitz; whereas according to federal state prosecutors, investigators had upgraded the charges from criminal to terrorist after reviewing the group’s internal communications;

W.  whereas 2018 has seen far-right groups carry out a series of attacks in France, for example on 16 March against a self-managed high school in Paris, on 3 April against the Law Faculty of Montpellier, on 7 April at the Tolbiac University in Paris, on 22 April to prevent migrants in the Alps from reaching France and on 5 October against the search-and-rescue NGO SOS Méditerranée;

X.  whereas in France on 7 December 2017 five members of the movement Generation Identitaire were convicted of incitement to racial and religious hatred(11); whereas on 24 June 2018, 10 members of the far-right group Action des Forces Opérationnelles (AFO) were arrested for planning a series of attacks targeting members of the Muslim community(12); whereas on 14 September 2018, two ex skin-heads were found guilty of the murder of Clément Méric, a young student and anti-fascist activist killed in June;

Y.  whereas the French intelligence service has expressed concern at the increasing number of members of military and law enforcement forces joining far-right violent groups(13);

Z.  whereas individuals linked to far-right groups, including Action Française, were planning a terrorist attack against a number of French politicians and mosques during the 2017 presidential elections; whereas repeated requests were made for closure notices for the premises of Action Française; whereas most of the group’s members first joined the ranks of the Front National(14);

AA.  whereas in Spain 12 members of the neo-Nazi organisation Hogar Social Madrid are currently being investigated for incitement to hatred; whereas members of the Spanish fascist groups Falange, Alianza Nacional and Democracia Nacional were arrested and convicted by the Supreme Court in Spain after attacking the Blanquerna Cultural Centre in Madrid during the celebrations of Catalonia’s National Day in 2013; whereas in 2016 the anti-racist NGO SOS Racismo documented 309 cases of xenophobic violence(15); whereas the president of this organisation received death threats after reporting these cases and has condemned the lack of effective mechanisms to denounce these crimes;

AB.  whereas 19 people have been accused by the Francisco Franco Foundation, an entity that glorifies a dictatorship and its crimes, and the Franco family of several offences that could amount to 13 years of prison after carrying out a peaceful and symbolic action which involved unfurling two large banners from the Pazo de Meirás manor house calling on the public authorities to intervene to reclaim this property for the Galician people;

AC.  whereas the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) regularly stages rallies throughout Scandinavia, chanting slogans and waving the organisation’s green-and-white flags; whereas several members of the NMR have been convicted for violent attacks on civilians and the police; whereas one of NMR’s leaders was convicted for a violent attack on an Eurovision party organised by RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights; whereas members of NMR attacked three women with a rainbow flag in Almedalen;

AD.  whereas Sweden has seen a rise in violent attacks by far-right groups and individuals; whereas the numerous arson attacks against refugees reception centres led the Swedish Government in 2015 to hide the location of buildings earmarked for housing refugees;

AE.  whereas the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), established by the Council of Europe, expressed alarm at the rise in right-wing extremism and neo-fascism in Croatia in a report published on 15 May 2018(16);

AF.  whereas openly racist, xenophobic and intolerant political parties are currently represented in the European Parliament, spreading hate during parliament’s various meetings and outside;

AG.  whereas every year on 16 March thousands of people gather in Riga for Latvian Legion Day to honour Latvians who served in the Waffen-SS;

AH.  whereas a video of an armed militia in Slovenia posted on social networks recently led to the arrest of the former presidential candidate and leader of the far-right movement United Slovenia Andrej Šiško, who was clearly identifiable as the leader of the troop in the video;

AI.  whereas Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in his speech of 21 June 2017 praised Nazi collaborator Miklós Horthy as an ‘exceptional statesman,’

AJ.  whereas Cécile Kyenge MEP has been sued by the Italian League party for calling it racist;

AK.  whereas on 25 October 2017 the Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Valeri Simeonov, was convicted of hate speech against Roma people by a regional court in Bulgaria in a civil case brought by Bulgarian journalists Kremena Budinova and Ognyan Isaev;

AL.  whereas on 4 September 2018 the Ukrainian Parliament’s speaker, Andrey Parubiy, stated on TV that Adolf Hitler was ‘a great person who practised direct democracy’; whereas since the beginning of 2018 C14 and other far-right groups in Ukraine such as the Azov-affiliated National Militia, Right Sector, Karpatska Sich and others have attacked Roma groups several times, as well as anti-fascist demonstrations, city council meetings, an event hosted by Amnesty International, art exhibitions, LGBTQI events, and environmental activists; whereas Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports is funding the neo-Nazi group C14 to promote ‘national patriotic education projects’ in the country; whereas Amnesty International has warned that ‘Ukraine is sinking into a chaos of uncontrolled violence posed by radical groups and their total impunity. Practically no one in the country can feel safe under these conditions.’(17);

1.  Strongly condemns and deplores the terrorist attacks, murders, violent physical attacks and marches by neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations that have taken place in various Member States;

2.  Is deeply concerned at the increasing normalisation of fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance in the European Union, and is troubled by reports in some Member States of collusion between political leaders, political parties and law enforcement with neo-fascists and neo-Nazis;

3.  Recalls the horrific consequences of Nazism and fascism in Europe;

4.  Calls on the Member States to consider the withdrawal of all official honours awarded to neo-fascists;

5.  Is especially worried about the neo-fascist violence targeting particular groups such as black Europeans/people of African descent, Jews, Muslims, Roma, third-country nationals, LGBTQI people, persons with disabilities, homeless people and feminists;

6.  Is deeply concerned by the use by neo-fascist parties and movements of the term ‘gender ideology’, which is intended to promote violence and hate against the feminist movement while generating misunderstanding of the real meaning of feminism, which is based on equality and rights;

7.  Underlines that the violence perpetrated by neo-fascist groups in Europe is accompanied by an increase in anti-democratic measures, limitations of rights, persecution and criminalisation of the action and struggles of social movements, trade unions and progressive and democratic forces;

8.  Recalls that the fascist ideology and intolerance are always associated with an attack on democracy itself;

9.  Is deeply concerned by the impunity with which neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups operate in some Member States and stresses that this sense of impunity is among the reasons that explain the alarming rise in violent actions by certain far-right organisations;

10.  Considers that among the root causes of the rise in the neo-fascist ideology and groups are: policies adversely affecting the socio-economic position of workers and the people and the rise in social inequalities, disrespect for international law and the UN Charter, the spread of racist and xenophobic ideas into official policies, in particular in the EU;

11.  Considers that democracy, tolerance, culture and solidarity form the basis for a sound coexistence and for strengthening ties of friendship between countries and peoples in Europe;

12.  Acknowledges the worrying trend of neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups using social media and the internet to organise and strategise across the European Union;

13.  Strongly condemns the attack by CasaPound fascist squads against Eleonora Forenza MEP, her assistant Antonio Perillo and others who took part in an anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstration on 21 September 2018 in Bari, Italy;

14.  Demands that Greek police conduct a full investigation into the assassination and ill-treatment of Zak Kostopoulos so that all those responsible are brought to justice, whether they be civilians or police officers; urges the Greek authorities to immediately take all necessary measures to ensure that police officers abide by the law at all times;

15.  Welcomes the court decision in Finland to ban the Nordic Resistance Movement;

16.  Welcomes the fact that the German Bundesrat asked Germany’s highest court to ban funding for the far-right National Democratic Party;

17.  Welcomes the decision by the Spanish Congress to adopt a motion to move Francisco Franco from his tomb at the war memorial known as the Valley of the Fallen, a place of pilgrimage for the far right; calls on the Spanish authorities to effectively remove all remaining symbols or monuments exalting the military uprising, the civil war and Franco’s dictatorship and asks that those that cannot be removed be subject to the necessary contextualisation and reinterpretation, in order that they may contribute to public awareness and remembrance of the past;

18.  Calls on the Member States to strongly condemn and sanction hate crime, hate speech and scapegoating by politicians and public officials at all levels and on all types of media, as they directly normalise and reinforce hatred and violence in society;

19.  Calls on the Member States to take further measures to prevent, condemn and counter hate speech and hate crime;

20.  Calls on the Member States to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and to share best practices for identifying and investigating hate crimes, including those motivated specifically by the various forms of xenophobia;

21.  Calls on the Member States to envisage and provide for adequate legal, psychological and material support for the victims of racist, hate and xenophobic crimes and the protection of all witnesses against the perpetrators, whether they be civilians or police officials;

22.  Calls on the Member States to set up anti-hate crime units in police forces; calls on police forces to ensure that their personnel do not engage in any form of racist, xenophobic or discriminatory act, and that any such action committed is investigated and those responsible brought to justice;

23.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to fight hate speech and crime and for close interaction between Member States and civil society organisations in the identification and fight against hate speech and crime;

24.  Supports, commends and calls for the protection of community groups and civil society organisations that fight against fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance;

25.  Calls for consolidated EU anti-discrimination legislation, including the transposition/implementation of existing legislation, and for the passing of new legislation, including the Equal Treatment Directive;

26.  Recalls that Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law provides for a legal base for imposing penalties on legal persons publicly inciting violence or hatred against a minority group; recalls that these penalties are the following: exclusion from public benefits, disqualification from commercial activities, placement under judicial supervision, and the issuance of a winding-up order; recalls that the Council Framework Decision should have been implemented by the Member States by 28 November 2010;

27.  Urges the Commission to update its 2014 report on the implementation of the aforementioned Council Framework Decision, and to initiate infringement proceedings against those Member States that have not complied with the provisions of the Decision;

28.  Urges the Member States to safeguard their compliance with the provisions of the Council Framework Decision, to counter organisations spreading hate speech and violence in public spaces and online by imposing the penalties established by the Council Framework Decision and to effectively ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and any other foundation or association that exalts and glorifies Nazism and fascism, while respecting domestic legal order and jurisdictions;

29.  Calls for national action plans against fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance;

30.  Calls for full and timely cooperation between law enforcement, the judiciary and civil society organisations in the fight against fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance;

31.  Calls on the Member States to cooperate in the fight against fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance;

32.  Calls on the Member States to provide mandatory, human-rights based and service-oriented in-service training to law enforcement officers and officials in the judicial system at all levels;

33.  Calls on the Member States to provide obligatory training to those working in public broadcasting and the media to raise their awareness about the challenges and discrimination faced by the victims of neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations;

34.  Calls on the Member States to put in place national ‘exit programmes’ to help individuals to leave violent neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups; underlines that such programmes should go far beyond one-to-one interventions and should involve long-term support for those struggling to find jobs, relocate and develop new and safe social networks;

35.  Emphasises that an awareness of history is one of the preconditions for preventing such crimes from occurring in the future and plays an important role in educating the younger generations; points out that downplaying Nazi crimes is a first step towards reawakening ideas from that era;

36.  Calls for a common culture of remembrance that rejects the fascist crimes of the past; is deeply worried that the younger generations in Europe and elsewhere feel less and less concerned about the history of fascism, and hence risk becoming indifferent to new threats;

37.  Encourages the Member States to promote the education of mainstream societies on the diversity of our society, our common history, including the atrocities of World War II, such as the Holocaust, and the process of systemic dehumanisation of its victims for years;

38.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Council of Europe.



OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.


OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55.


OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.


OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, p. 1.


European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 (TESAT 2018), Europol.


European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 (TESAT 2018), Europol.


European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 (TESAT 2018), Europol.


RVRN Annual Report 2017, 28 March 2018.



Guardian article of 3 August 2018 entitled ‘Warning of ‘dangerous acceleration’ in attacks on immigrants in Italy’.


Le Figaro article of 20 October 2017 entitled ‘Poitiers : prison avec sursis pour les «identitaires» qui avaient occupé une mosquée’ (Updated on 7 December 2017).


Le Monde article of 4 September 2018 entitled ‘Ce que révèle l’enquête sur les projets d’attentats de l’ultradroite visant des musulmans’ (Updated on 5 September 2018).


Mediapart article of 9 April 2018 entitled ‘Forces de l’ordre liées à l’ultra-droite violente: la DGSI s’inquiète’.


Le Figaro article of 18 October 2017 entitled ‘Visé par un projet d’attentat, Mélenchon veut des sanctions contre l’Action française’ (Updated on 19 October 2017).


SOS Racismo 2016 report.


Council of Europe ECRI Report on Croatia (Fifth Monitoring Cycle), 15 May 2018.


Atlantic Council blog post of 20 June 2018.

Last updated: 18 October 2018Legal notice