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Parliamentary questions
28 June 2012
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has repeatedly condemned all forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia and antisemitism and is committed to fighting against these phenomena. The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its replies to questions E‑006161/2011 and E‑000943/2011(1).

The working definition of anti-Semitism developed by the Fundamental Rights Agency is not a legal text, but a guide for organisations that collect data on antisemitic incidents in order to increase the comparability of collected data.

Certain manifestations of antisemitism could fall in the scope of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA(2), which bans the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as public Holocaust denial and gross trivialisation when they are carried out in a manner likely to incite to violence or hatred against the mentioned group or a member of such a group. The framework Decision also obliges Member States to ensure that a racist or xenophobic motivation is considered an aggravating circumstance, or alternatively that such motivation may be taken into consideration by the courts in the determination of the penalties. It is for the national courts to determine, according to the surrounding circumstances and context, whether a given situation represents an incitement to antisemitic violence or hatred.

The Commission is not authorised by the Treaties to launch infringement proceedings on the basis of Framework Decisions until 1 December 2014. However, it is monitoring as closely as possible the transposition of this framework Decision and will deliver a report to this end in 2013.

(2)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, OJ L 328, 6.12.2008.

OJ C 254 E, 04/09/2013
Last updated: 5 July 2012Legal notice