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Parliamentary questions
PDF 6kWORD 26k
7 January 2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-010187/2015

The Commission is indeed concerned about how the Internet is being exploited to spread extremist messages contributing to radicalisation and incitement to hatred and violence. In response, the Commission is working to enhance collaboration between Member States and Internet companies. For that purpose and as set out in the European Agenda on Security(1), an EU IT Forum has been established, and convened for the first time on 3 December 2015. Initial focus will be on how to reduce accessibility to such material online and on how civil society groups can be empowered to challenge violent extremist propaganda online.

With regard to the transposition and implementation of Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on racism and xenophobia, the Commission refers to its implementation report(2), adopted in January 2014, which mentions that the Commission may consider infringement proceedings with regard to outstanding implementation gaps in the course of 2016.

Article 9(2) of the framework Decision in particular, stipulates that Member States must ensure their jurisdiction over racist hate speech extends to cases where the conduct is committed through an information system and the offender or materials hosted on that system are found within their territory.

As announced in the Digital Single Market Strategy(3) the Commission is considering options to improve the removal of illegal content from the Internet, while fully respecting citizens' fundamental rights. To better understand stakeholders' views the Commission has launched a public consultation on this topic.(4)

(1)COM(2015)0185 final.
(2)COM(2014)0027 final.
(3)COM(2015)0192 final.
(4)Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Platforms/

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