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Procedure : 2013/2543(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

B7-0123/2013

Debates :

PV 12/03/2013 - 6
CRE 12/03/2013 - 6

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PV 14/03/2013 - 8.3

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0090

Debates
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

6. Strengthening the fight against racism, xenophobia and hate crime (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  La Présidente. - L'ordre du jour appelle le débat sur les déclarations du Conseil et de la Commission sur le thème: "Intensifier la lutte contre le racisme, la xénophobie et les crimes inspirés par la haine".

 
  
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  Lucinda Creighton, President-in-Office of the Council. − Madam President, last October it was announced that the European Union had been awarded the Nobel Prize for bringing peace to our continent. We can be proud of the achievements of the European Union. It has brought peace, stability and prosperity – all on the basis of freedom, democracy and rule of law.

But we should never be complacent about our achievements. The fact that we need to organise a Europe-wide Week Against Racism is a clear indication that Europeans still live under the shadow of discrimination, prejudice and aggression.

The Council stands firmly alongside this Parliament in rejecting all forms of racism, xenophobia and homophobia. These are violations of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits all discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin and religion or belief. Furthermore, the Treaties provide the Union with the competence to take appropriate action to combat such discrimination.

All the institutions of the EU must stand shoulder to shoulder in defending fundamental freedoms and fighting all forms of discrimination. We can never rest until the scourge of discrimination has been completely banished from our societies.

Let me first address the situation in which we find ourselves today. Sadly, as fresh research published by the Fundamental Rights Agency has shown, discrimination in Europe is far from being a thing of the past. LGBT persons, ethnic minorities, including Jews and Roma, and other groups continue to face prejudice, discrimination, harassment and worse. It is unacceptable that Europe in the 21st century should still be a witness to homophobia and to racist attacks against Jews, Roma and others.

I commend this Parliament for keeping this issue high on the agenda. In your resolution of May last year you called for more determined action and referred to specific concerns in some third countries. I also recall your recent report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2010-2011), which paints a disturbing picture and which also rightly calls for further action.

This leads to my second point – what is the EU doing? The Treaties provide the Union with a number of powers, and these have been used successfully to introduce a range of legislation. The Council has in particular taken steps to protect European citizens from all forms of racism and xenophobia. The Council’s Framework Decision of 2008 ensures that such behaviour constitutes an offence across all Member States. Amongst other provisions, it requires Member States to criminalise public incitement to violence or hatred directed against persons belonging to a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. It also demands that such conduct be punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties of at least between one and three years imprisonment.

More generally, the EU has taken a number of measures for tackling discrimination. The legal protection which the EU offers to racial and ethnic minorities is already fairly broad, covering employment, social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services. We have also taken steps to combat discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

President, honourable Members, allow me to conclude by addressing the issue of what more might be done. We already have extensive legislation in place, and more legislation is under discussion on protection against discrimination in areas outside of employment. In addition, Member States have their own domestic laws covering these areas. But the reports from the Fundamental Rights Agency clearly show that the adoption of legislation is not in itself sufficient. It also has to be implemented and properly enforced and we also have to raise awareness. Events such as the Action Week against Racism play a vital part in keeping these issues in the public eye and so bringing abuses to light. All of us have a role to play in this regard – and I know that this Parliament in particular takes these responsibilities very, very seriously.

The European Union should be encouraging the development of a society based on equality, tolerance and respect for human rights. Those are the values on which it is founded. Bigotry and discrimination have no place in the Europe of the twenty-first century. The Nobel Prize was a way of honouring the European Union. Let us live up to the ideals which it represents.

It is in that spirit that the Irish Presidency put the question of hate crimes on the agenda of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Dublin in January. This subject is at once very focused – concern about the growth in xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and other extreme forms of intolerance and how to take effective action at national and at EU level to combat these evils – and very broad, in that it touches on fundamental questions about the rule of law and the effective functioning of political and public institutions in the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens.

A specific theme of the discussion by Ministers was that the solution is not just about legislation, but about getting into the minds of people and encouraging positive attitudes.

The Irish Presidency suggested that a mechanism to better support protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law in Member States, by sharing best practice, benchmarking practice and outcomes in an objective way and formulating appropriate recommendations and guidelines for action, would provide such a holistic framework for effective responses to these issues.

JHA Ministers agreed to invite the Commission to give further consideration to this matter and to initiate a broad public debate taking account of the Commission’s Annual Report on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights with governments and public institutions in Member States, to include national human rights and equality bodies, civil society etc. so as to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of the rule of law, common values and protection of the fundamental rights of all in Europe.

The Commission will then come back during the course of 2014 with the results of this process. The Fundamental Rights Agency has a very important role to play in providing expert and independent analysis in this process.

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. − Madam President, it is important that Parliament raises these matters because we all know that recent reports by the Fundamental Rights Agency show that racism, xenophobia and hate crimes remain a matter of concern all over Europe – and it is not just the Fundamental Rights Agency which tells us this, as we read about it constantly in the media.

Many of the hate crimes, we know too, remain unreported, meaning they are not prosecuted and that those who commit them are not punished. So the problem is even greater than we can see. That is why I am very grateful to my colleague Alan Shatter who, to start the Irish Presidency, held a gathering of the Justice Ministers in Dublin in January this year in order to discuss the problems of racism, xenophobia and hate crimes, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Gypsyism and homophobia – all those manifestations which are completely incompatible with European rules and with the basis on which Europe is founded.

We have had for many years now a solid framework to address these hate crimes at EU level. The Commission monitors the transposition and implementation of this EU legislation, which prohibits discrimination and hate speech and hate crime. I will report on the application of the Race Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive, as well as on the transposition of the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia.

You know too that the Commission, together with Parliament, always insists that the Equal Treatment Directive – the so-called Article 19 Directive – should be taken in hand by the Council but progress is slow, if not to say non-existent. As you know, the Council has to adopt this text by unanimity; nothing is moving on this.

In addition to legislation, of course, the Commission lends its support to a number of activities to prevent acts of intolerance and also to remember our common past, because only if you know the roots on which you are growing can you prevent things from happening again. The Commission supports activities aimed at preserving the memory of the mass violations of human rights during the period of Nazism and Stalinism.

Under the new Citizenship Programme of 2014-2020, I have proposed an increasing amount of financial assistance to be provided for remembrance projects. I hope it will remain in place, so I appeal to Parliament to have a look at this because I believe it is important for our next generation to know the horrors on which Europe has been built, in order for these horrors not to happen again.

You know also that the Fundamental Rights Agency is crucial for the collection of data on hate crimes and that our Roma integration work is crucial in order to prevent more and more negative developments from happening. May I inform you that the national Roma Contact Points are in place to ensure that national strategies are implemented. A progress report on these national strategies will be given to this House in the spring. Jointly with this report, I am working together with the experts to come up with – and I have not told you this yet but think it is necessary to take this step – a Council Recommendation in order to open new avenues to improve the effectiveness of measures by Member States to achieve Roma integration in real terms and not just on paper.

Concerning hate crime: you know that we have the 2008 Council Framework Decision on racism and xenophobia. This is our central tool in fighting hate crimes. It requires all Member States to penalise hate speech and to ensure that a biased motivation for any other offence is taken into account in the severity of the penalties.

This is European Union law. But laws are only as good as the extent to which they are enforced and implemented in practice. The Treaties prevent the Commission from launching infringement procedures in respect of this type of EU law, because it is a framework decision and it will be a framework decision until 1 December 2014. Nevertheless, the Commission will put a report on compliance by Member States with this EU law on the table at the end of this year.

This House also knows that we have completed the Victims’ Rights Directive, which gives victims of crime a broad set of procedural rights, including access to justice, compensation and restoration. Particular attention is paid to the special categories of victims of hate crime. So these instruments – that is the European Protection Order which was decided by the Council last week and which will become law very soon – provide for the mutual recognition of protection measures when victims move to another country. This will also be of utmost importance in fighting those kinds of crimes.

Racism, xenophobia and hate crime are a common concern to the whole of the EU. No Member State can boast a clean record when it comes to these crimes. Fighting these crimes requires both preventive and corrective action and I thank Parliament for helping us to ensure that this happens in real terms.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu Houillon (PPE). - Madame la Présidente, un acte raciste, un acte xénophobe, un crime haineux, ce n'est pas tout à fait un délit ou un crime ordinaire; c'est un acte doublement condamnable et injuste. Malheureusement, c'est une réalité encore bien trop présente en Europe.

Alors qu'il y a un an, Mohamed Merah abattait Imad Ibn Ziaten, Abel Chennouf, Mohamed Legouad, avant d'ouvrir le feu dans une école juive et de faire encore quatre victimes, alors que, récemment encore en France, une mosquée a été recouverte d'inscriptions haineuses, rappelons que toute société doit être basée sur la tolérance. Ne cédons pas aux vieux démons du repli sur soi et du bouc émissaire si faciles à invoquer en période de crise.

Il y a une réalité indéniable et indiscutable d'agressions envers des individus du fait de leur appartenance supposée à une communauté, qui vont des propos haineux à de simples, non moins cruelles, discriminations lors de la recherche d'un logement, d'un emploi ou encore aux contrôles répétés et abusifs.

On peut saluer l'engagement sans faille d'associations, d'ONG, qui continuent de nous confronter à cette réalité trop souvent oubliée comme le font, par exemple, en France, la Licra, SOS Racisme, ou d'autres ONG, partout en Europe et même dans le monde.

L'Union européenne s'est engagée, par exemple, dans les travaux de l'Agence des droits fondamentaux et c'est une très bonne chose. Nous avons le devoir collectif de dénoncer ces actes racistes et xénophobes et toutes les discriminations, notamment celles basées sur l'orientation sexuelle, et nous-mêmes, en particulier, en tant qu'hommes et femmes politiques, d'être irréprochables dans nos paroles et de rappeler l'égalité infaillible des droits de chaque citoyen. Une promotion plus active de la tolérance doit être encouragée, en particulier, à travers l'éducation familiale et scolaire, dès le plus jeune âge.

Il est également essentiel de collecter des données plus fiables qui nous permettent, au-delà de quelques faits divers troublants qui sont relatés, de mieux appréhender l'évolution et la réalité des actes racistes, xénophobes, et des crimes haineux.

Enfin, un soutien tout particulier doit être apporté aux victimes, afin de les inciter à dénoncer les actes et les discriminations dont elles sont victimes, et de protéger leurs droits. Si elles savent qu'elles seront écoutées et que des procédures seront engagées, les actes seront plus souvent rapportés. Ainsi, la justice et nos sociétés avanceront. C'est ce qu'a fait Nicolas Sarkozy en France, par exemple, en instituant le "défenseur des droits". C'est une institution unique en son genre qui permet de protéger les droits et les libertés de chacun et de défendre l'égalité des citoyens. Voici le principe qui devrait guider toutes nos actions, car le "vivre ensemble" doit l'emporter sur la haine.

(L'oratrice accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu", conformément à l'article 149, paragraphe 8, du règlement)

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΠΑΠΑΣΤΑΜΚΟΣ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), question "carton bleu". – Madame Mathieu, vous venez de nous faire un très beau discours contre la haine. Je voudrais juste savoir si, par ce discours, vous dénoncez les propos de Nicolas Sarkozy à l'encontre de la communauté rom en 2010.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu Houillon (PPE), réponse "carton bleu". – M. Nicolas Sarkozy n'a eu aucun propos haineux contre la communauté rom.

 
  
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  Kinga Göncz, a S&D képviselőcsoport nevében. – „A cigányság jelentős része nem alkalmas az együttélésre. A cigányság ezen része állat, és állatként viselkedik.” Ezt nem egy radikális szervezet képviselője, hanem egy magát közép-jobb pártnak nevező párt tagja írta le Magyarországon. „Készek vagyunk kinyitni a gázkamrákat” – nyilatkozta a görög Arany Hajnal párt parlamenti képviselőjelöltje, bemutatva, hogy hogyan kezelnék az illegális bevándorlás problémáját. Romák, zsidók, muzulmánok, melegek, feketék, fogyatékossággal élők a gyűlöletből fakadó bűncselekmények leggyakoribb áldozatai. De a szélsőséges eszmék mindannyiunkat fenyegetnek. Az uszító, kirekesztő retorika ma már a közbeszéd része. A krízis következtében nőtt a populizmus, a szélsőségesség is.

Nincsenek megbízható adataink, hogy hányan áldozatai a szóbeli és fizikai erőszaknak. A megalázottak, bántalmazottak nem jelentik a hatóságoknak a gyűlölet megnyilvánulásait. Adatok, statisztikák kellenek a gyűlöletcselekményekről, hogy megfelelő jogalkotással és stratégiával megelőzhessük, büntethetővé tegyük azokat, hogy az áldozatoknak megfelelő védelmet nyújthassunk. A tagállamok felelőssége, hogy a rendőrség és az igazságszolgáltatás következetesen feltárja, megbüntesse ezeknek a bűncselekményeknek az elkövetőit. Régi és sürgősen pótlandó adósság a horizontális antidiszkriminációs direktíva megszületése a Tanácsban.

 
  
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  Renate Weber, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, please first of all allow me to welcome the Irish Presidency initiative, which I personally consider to be the boldest I have seen in recent years.

It is already a truism that populism has spread in the European Union and that such discourses are spread and promoted by political parties – extremist political parties that have got into parliaments, and sometimes also into government and can influence governmental policies. The EU seems to have not enough or not proper antibodies to fight this and to fight discrimination, and there is too much tolerance of hate speech and of crimes motivated by hate. I think, therefore, that instruments are absolutely necessary, particularly when we see that in the Member States we have better legislation and better mechanisms to combat discrimination than at EU level. That is not acceptable. Therefore, it is a matter of urgency to revise the framework decision against racism and xenophobia and to enlarge it.

Also, on religious issues, on intolerance against gypsies and on homophobia, the Council must adopt the anti-discrimination directive which has been blocked for quite some time now. It is time to do this as it is one of the main instruments to fight discrimination and violence.

It is indeed time to stop Roma expulsions and discrimination, including in France, where these days this policy continues the policies promoted by Mr Sarkozy. We need instruments to monitor infractions and violations of fundamental rights in Hungary, but not only in Hungary, in other Member States as well. It is interesting that Parliament has been asking for this for several years. Now we have a few Member States that are also calling for this, so I think it really is time to act in this direction.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI), blue-card question. – Violence and incitement to violence must of course be recognised as thoroughly despicable criminal acts. However, it appears that racism and xenophobia go beyond violence. Can you define these terms? I asked the Commission and the Council to do so and they were not able to. Is it not absurd to try to criminalise something that cannot be defined?

 
  
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  Renate Weber (ALDE), blue-card answer. – It is actually rather easy, Mr Brons. If crimes are committed, they are not committed by race, they are committed by individuals, so whenever you want to penalise, you penalise the individual. At the same time, when another individual commits a crime because he or she does not agree with the fact that a person is different, this must be penalised and of course it must have an even bigger penalty.

 
  
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  Ulrike Lunacek, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Ministerin, Frau Kommissarin, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren! Hass und Hassverbrechen beginnen in den Köpfen der Menschen, setzen sich über die Sprache fort und werden dann in Gewalttaten sichtbar. Das heißt, der Kampf gegen Rassismus, gegen Ausländerfeindlichkeit, gegen Antisemitismus, gegen Roma-Feindlichkeit und gegen Homophobie muss bei der sprachlichen Hetze beginnen. Und die findet statt, auch wenn Politiker sich äußern, auf Plakaten kommt das vor, aber auch in rassistischer Sprache in Texten von Musikern zum Beispiel. In vielen Teilen der Europäischen Union sind Rassismus, Ausländerfeindlichkeit, Antisemitismus, Gewalt gegen Roma, Homo- und Transphobie in den letzten Jahren angestiegen. Das wurde auch in Berichten der Grundrechteagentur schon des Öfteren festgestellt.

Einige Beispiele: In Ungarn hat ein prominentes Mitglied von Jobbik eine Judenliste gefordert, mit dem Argument, Juden seien ein Sicherheitsrisiko. In Österreich haben sich die antisemitischen Vorfälle vom Jahr 2011 bis 2012 verdoppelt. Was Roma betrifft, hat in Deutschland vor kurzem ein CSU-Politiker Roma als Sozialschmarotzer bezeichnet. In Ungarn hat Fidesz-Mitbegründer Zsolt Bayer Roma mit Tieren verglichen und gesagt, sie dürften nicht existieren.

Homo- und Transphobie: Der Direktor der Grundrechteagentur, Morten Kjaerum, hat vor kurzem, als er Litauen besucht hat, erklärt, dass in einer Umfrage, in der mehr als 90 000 Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle und Transgender-Personen in den EU-27 und Kroatien befragt wurden, 25 % angegeben haben, dass sie in den letzten fünf Jahren körperlichen Attacken ausgesetzt waren. In Griechenland berichten Organisationen der Lesben/Schwulen-Bewegung, dass es auch hier einen alarmierenden Anstieg von homo- und transphobischen Verbrechen und Hetze gibt. In Schweden z. B. werden nur 7 % xenophobischer, rassistischer Verbrechen aufgeklärt, während 17 % anderer Verbrechen aufgeklärt werden. UNHCR zufolge hat es in Griechenland von Januar bis September 2012 87 rassistische Verbrechen gegeben.

Ich bin sehr froh, dass die irische Präsidentschaft jetzt auch eine Initiative eingeleitet hat, aber lassen Sie mich sagen, dass noch mehr getan werden muss. Mechanismen wie z. B. der Austausch von best practices oder ein ganzheitlicher Zugang sind wichtig und gut. Aber wir dürfen uns nicht den Vorwurf gefallen lassen – z. B. von Beitrittskandidatenländern, von denen wir immer Rechtsstaatlichkeit, die Einhaltung von Minderheitenrechten verlangen –, dass wir das selbst in der Europäischen Union nicht machen. Deshalb, denke ich, wäre es wichtig, dass es so etwas wie eine Kopenhagen-Kommission gibt. Denn, wie Kommissarin Reding ja schon einmal gesagt hat, wir haben das Kopenhagen-Dilemma: Bis zum Beitritt muss alles getan werden und nachher nichts mehr. So etwas wäre wichtig, ähnlich wie die Venedig-Kommission des Europarates, wo Experten tatsächlich Vergleiche anstellen und Forderungen formulieren.

 
  
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  Timothy Kirkhope, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, racism, xenophobia and hate crime have at times formed a dark part of Europe’s history, yet the fight against them is something which lies at the very heart of what the European Union does best. This is an area where we must never believe that the job is done. It is something which we must constantly re-examine, address and take action on.

Europe is facing a time of social, economic and security challenges, and during such times people look for someone to blame and for things to be afraid of. This uncertainty and fear is often then fed upon by populism and our media. That is why politicians must not be afraid to talk about the issue, to keep educating and to realise that addressing racism and inequalities is not about creating more legislation, but about achieving real equality in hearts and minds and by bringing religions and communities together.

However, condemning a whole nation – as some people seem to be doing this morning – for the views of a few citizens is simply not acceptable. We do not want to hear the arguments this morning relating to either political positions or attitudes to individual countries that are members of this Union. We want to talk about the subject. I hope I have done so, and I hope others will do so during the course of this debate.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Ulrike Lunacek (Verts/ALE), blue-card question. – Mr Kirkhope, I suspect that you were criticising the fact that we tried, and we also tabled some amendments to this common resolution that criticise several things that are happening in several Member States. I hear from you that you are criticising that. I would like to ask you whether you would not agree, learning also from our own history as the European Union, that hate crimes started with hate speech. Language is something that incites and then gives more openness to violence, so why should we not name those who are responsible for that?

 
  
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  Timothy Kirkhope (ECR), blue-card answer. – We all know that these instances occur in a number of Member States; indeed all our Member States have this problem. That is why I want politicians to continue talking about these matters and educating their populations.

It does nothing whatsoever to aid our debate today on this very important subject for individuals, sometimes from a political point of view, but sometimes wishing to criticise other countries where they do not reside themselves or of which they are not citizens, to bring this matter into a specific. It does not help us at all. We are helped by general discussion and improving standards wherever they may need to be improved, throughout Europe.

 
  
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  Frank Vanhecke, namens de EFD-Fractie. – Voorzitter, de strijd tegen racisme is vanzelfsprekend een legitiem doel. Maar ik vrees dat dit legitieme doel veel te veel gebruikt wordt om even legitieme en zeer terechte zorgen van onze burgers te muilkorven, om de vrije meningsuiting op te schorten en om zeer behoorlijke mensen het zwijgen op te leggen.

In dit Parlement zitten, vrees ik, veel negationisten. Dat zijn politici die de zeer irreële problemen van overlast, van criminaliteit, van geweld, van islamisering, die met ongecontroleerde immigratie gepaard gaan, boudweg ontkennen of negeren. Of er zijn ook mensen die perfect noodzakelijke en aanvaardbare politieke maatregelen in een racistisch criminele sfeer situeren.

Was het niet commissaris Reding die enkele jaren geleden de Roma-politiek van de Franse president Sarkozy vergeleek met de verschrikkingen van de Tweede Wereldoorlog? Wat een schabouwelijke domheid was dat! Een echte strijd tegen racisme begint met de strijd tegen de illegale immigratie en met de bescherming van de wetten, de normen, de vrijheden en de identiteiten van de Europese volkeren. Dat vergeet men op dit halfrond veel te vaak.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, les violences basées sur le rejet de l'autre, de celui qui est différent ou que l'on considère comme tel, demeurent une réalité quotidienne dans l'Union européenne. Les migrants, les Roms, en sont les principales victimes, mais ils ne sont pas les seuls. L'antisémitisme est toujours là, et l'islamophobie – Madame Reding, je vous remercie d'avoir osé prononcer ce mot, contrairement à notre résolution – progresse. De nombreux autres groupes sont touchés, comme les homosexuels, les handicapés, sans oublier bien sûr les femmes, qui constituent la majorité de la population.

Difficile de connaître la réalité des chiffres tant les outils statistiques s'avèrent hétéroclites d'un pays à l'autre. De fait, dans ces enquêtes, les pays dont les chiffres sont les plus impressionnants sont ceux qui ont les meilleurs outils et qui appliquent le mieux la législation. Tel est le cas de l'Allemagne.

Nous savons tous et toutes qu'en cette période de crise sociale et politique, certains jouent sur les peurs, y compris au plus haut niveau politique dans certains États membres. Nicolas Sarkozy en fut le triste exemple. On peut toujours se gargariser de valeurs européennes, on peut se bousculer pour aller récupérer le prix Nobel de la paix, mais tout cela est ridicule si l'on s'avère incapable de lutter contre les crimes de haine.

La Présidence irlandaise veut remettre ce dossier à l'ordre du jour. Tant mieux! Nous attendons de la Commission qu'elle réagisse, qu'elle agisse notamment en proposant à la signature la Convention des Nations unies sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination raciale et qu'elle mette tout en œuvre pour que la directive Égalité soit adoptée et appliquée. L'attitude du Conseil est intolérable en ce domaine.

J'ajoute que la prévention et l'éducation doivent être les priorités de toute politique en la matière et pas seulement la mémoire. Les enfants ne connaissent pas la haine, ce sont les adultes qui les conduisent sur ce triste chemin.

 
  
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  Philip Claeys (NI). - Voorzitter, echt racisme moet veroordeeld worden, maar er bestaat geen andere term die zo veel en zo systematisch misbruikt wordt als de term racisme. Wie de open grenzen en de daaruit voortvloeiende massale immigratie ter discussie stelt, wie kritiek heeft op het mislukte immigratie- en integratiebeleid van de afgelopen dertig jaar, wordt stelselmatig gebrandmerkt als racist. Het is de geijkte manier om elk debat over het immigratieprobleem onmogelijk te maken.

In België is de linkse regering onder Verhofstadt er in 2004 zelfs in geslaagd de toenmalige grootste partij van Vlaanderen, het Vlaams Blok de facto te verbieden. Op die manier wil de linkse kerk tegelijkertijd ook de vrije meningsuiting aan banden leggen. En deze houding is catastrofaal gebleken, zeker nu de puinhopen van de multiculturele maatschappij duidelijk zichtbaar zijn, met gettowijken waar werkloosheid en criminaliteit hoogtij vieren.

De EU brengt geen oplossing voor de problemen maar is eerder een deel van het probleem. Daarom moet het asiel- en immigratiebeleid opnieuw onder de bevoegdheid van de lidstaten komen, inclusief de mogelijkheid om hun eigen grenzen te controleren. De problemen veroorzaakt door de massa-immigratie en de islamisering moeten bespreekbaar gemaakt worden en opgelost worden in het licht van de identiteit en de belangen van de volkeren in Europa.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE). - Senhor Presidente, agradeço-lhe a si e aos meus colegas Díaz de Mera e Iacolino a troca na ordem das inscrições, e gostaria de começar por reafirmar que o racismo e a xenofobia constituem uma clara violação dos princípios da liberdade, da democracia, do respeito pelos direitos e liberdades fundamentais, bem como do Estado de direito. Ou seja, uma violação dos valores comuns em que a União Europeia assenta.

A Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais proíbe qualquer forma de discriminação e obriga os Estados-Membros a combater de forma ativa os crimes de ódio, isto é, os crimes motivados pelo racismo, pela xenofobia, pela intolerância religiosa ou étnica ou pela deficiência ou orientação sexual ou género.

Lamentavelmente, as situações de discriminação e intolerância, bem como os crimes de ódio, continuam a fazer-se sentir, diariamente, por todo o território europeu. Precisamos de um combate mais ativo ao nível europeu contra o racismo, a intolerância e a xenofobia. Para tal é necessário que os decisores dos Estados-Membros demonstrem uma maior vontade política para combater preconceitos generalizados contra certos grupos e reparar os danos que possam ter sido causados às vítimas.

Como tal, espero que o Conselho não perca mais tempo e aprove finalmente a diretiva para a igualdade de tratamento. Espero que possamos igualmente iniciar brevemente o processo de revisão da decisão-quadro de 2008, esperando que desta vez o Conselho não leve seis anos para conseguir alcançar um acordo político.

Um combate eficaz contra os crimes de ódio pressupõe que sejamos capazes de tornar estes crimes mais visíveis e de podermos responsabilizar os seus autores. Temos igualmente de derrubar o muro de silêncio, encorajando as vítimas e testemunhas a denunciar este tipo de situações, e assegurar-lhes a oportunidade de obter reparação.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, le climat difficile dans lequel nous vivons actuellement est celui d'une Europe sous la pression d'une austérité aveugle, marquée par le délitement du lien social. Le racisme, la xénophobie et les crimes haineux trouvent ainsi un terreau fertile et propice à un essor inquiétant. Nos valeurs – celles de la démocratie, de la solidarité, de la tolérance – sont menacées.

Les discours de haine s'insinuent sans cesse au cœur de mouvements politiques traditionnels, désinhibés et surfant sur les peurs des plus vulnérables pour en tirer des succès électoraux car, à côté d'un extrémisme violent, visible, nous devons répondre aussi à toutes les remarques, allusions, moqueries et autres phrases qui se diffusent insidieusement au quotidien, tout particulièrement, via les réseaux sociaux.

Si nous ne faisions pas évoluer notre connaissance et nos réactions face à ces phénomènes, nous laisserions s'installer une inertie coupable. Je regrette que Mme Weber qui, tout à l'heure, faisait allusion à la situation en France vis-à-vis des Roms soit partie, car j'aurais aimé élever son niveau de connaissance sur ce qui se passe actuellement en France vis-à-vis de cette communauté, parce que, manifestement, elle a raté un épisode.

En ce qui concerne les deux derniers outils qui doivent permettre de reconnaître ces discriminations, les victimes doivent pouvoir avoir accès à un système de plaintes en lequel elles aient confiance et qui doit déboucher sur des actions.

Enfin, j'en appelle aux États membres pour qu'ils débloquent la proposition de directive anti-discrimination et intensifient leurs efforts pour que nous puissions passer des mots aux actes car, si beaucoup a été fait, il reste beaucoup de vœux pieux à mettre en application.

 
  
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  Lajos Bokros (ECR). - Sunt un mare admirator al poporului român şi al culturii române. Vorbesc româneşte în semnul acestei admiraţii. Populaţia maghiară care trăieşte în România, în număr de peste un milion şi jumătate, este tot atât de autohtonă ca şi românii din punct de vedere lingvistic, etnografic sau privind obiceiurile şi tradiţiile, fiind într-o unitate istorică, geografică şi etnică univocă de mai mult de o mie de ani.

Regiunea autonomă maghiară a existat până în 1968. Ceauşescu a împărţit-o în trei judeţe, dar majoritatea maghiară a rămas până în prezent. După 1990, practica subsidiarităţii a redat secuilor încrederea în sine şi forţa creativă. Unii vor să distrugă această unitate etnică organică, prin crearea unor regiuni noi, reîmpărţind secuimea în patru alte regiuni administrative, cu populaţie română absolut majoritară, care ar împinge maghiarii într-o minoritate nesemnificativă.

Cer ajutorul dumneavoastră ca acest plan să nu fie realizat, evitând astfel o tensiune interetnică şi interstatală şi multă durere de prisos.

 
  
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  Mario Borghezio (EFD). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, molta ipocrisia in questa discussione. In primo luogo il Commissario Reding continua a non dirci se è riuscito a ottenere che il suo paese abroghi finalmente la proibizione per i galantuomini di etnia Rom di poter parcheggiare magari un bel centinaio di roulotte nel suo paese, visto che ciò è consentito nel nostro paese come negli altri.

In secondo luogo, in tutto il dibattito non ho sentito la parola "cristianofobia": eppure mi pare che anche ieri, inaugurando il Parlamento, il Presidente doverosamente abbia ricordato l'ennesimo massacro. Nel frattempo ce ne sono stati altri da parte dell'Islam più estremista e macellaio.

In terzo luogo, la sinistra che qui predica la lotta all'antisemitismo, al razzismo, eccetera, nel nostro paese fa la corte a un movimento, il Movimento 5 Stelle, che ha vinto le elezioni, il cui leader e guru Beppe Grillo è accusato da questi organismi internazionali dell'antirazzismo di essere un razzista e un antisemita della più bell'acqua. Sia chiaro che io non condivido questa accusa ma ci pone comunque un problema: è una pulizia del pensiero che volete? Dov'è la vostra coerenza? Tanta ipocrisia, visto che non avete nemmeno il coraggio di pronunciare la parola "cristianofobia".

 
  
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  Κυριάκος Τριανταφυλλίδης (GUE/NGL). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ο ρατσισμός, η ξενοφοβία, οι διακρίσεις και τα παρακλάδια τους έχουν εξαπλωθεί σε τρομακτικό πλέον βαθμό και πέφτουν θύματά τους σε καθημερινή βάση συνάνθρωποί μας παρ’ όλους τους νόμους που έχουμε. Η ακροδεξιά ρητορική περνάει χωρίς σημαντικά εμπόδια, με ατιμωρησία, ανοχή, ακόμη και επικρότηση, η δε έλλειψη καταγραφής και καταγγελιών επιθέσεων και διακρίσεων υποδηλώνει τεράστιο πρόβλημα πρόσβασης στη δικαιοσύνη, εμπιστοσύνη στις αρχές και φυσικά μια πραγματικότητα ακόμη χειρότερη.

Πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουμε το πρόβλημα στις σωστές του διαστάσεις και να το ξεγυμνώσουμε, γιατί δεν είναι σποραδικό ούτε ανεξάρτητο από τις Συνθήκες. Η ποινικοποίηση της μετανάστευσης, τα ασφυκτικά γεμάτα κέντρα κράτησης, η έλλειψη συνεκτικών μέτρων ένταξης, η ελλιπής πρόσβαση στην υγεία και στην εκπαίδευση, ο άκρατος πόλεμος κατά της τρομοκρατίας, δεν βοηθάνε την κατάσταση των στερεοτύπων και προκαταλήψεων. Ο σεβασμός και η ανοχή στον συνάνθρωπό μας είναι αδιαπραγμάτευτα, αν θέλουμε να χτίσουμε υγιείς πολυπολιτισμικές κοινωνίες.

 
  
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  Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (PPE). - Señor Presidente, apoyamos este debate, que deriva de la declaración del Consejo y de la Comisión, porque es muy necesario.

El día 21 de marzo es un referente de dolor que nunca debemos olvidar; la memoria y el reconocimiento de las víctimas son una terapia muy buena para evitar crímenes horrendos. Acabamos de recibir el Nobel de la Paz a toda una trayectoria llena de valores; es un premio merecido, pero tenemos aún muchas fragilidades.

En la Unión aún hay comportamientos discriminatorios duros y lamentables. Nuestro código son los derechos humanos, la ley y la tolerancia; nuestras amenazas, cualquier tipo de discriminación —la étnica, los delitos motivados por el odio, el racismo, la xenofobia, el antisemitismo, la homofobia— y, sobre todo, nuestra indiferencia y nuestra falta de compromiso.

¿Cuál es nuestra defensa? La denuncia y el combate de estas conductas y delitos, la educación y la formación en los valores de la Unión, la protección y el amparo, además del reconocimiento, de las víctimas, y una justicia eficaz y rápida que castigue a los culpables.

Estos delitos podrían, algunas veces, no estar definidos o tipificados, pero se padecen, se sufren y se sienten. Por eso, señor Presidente, también en el ámbito del Derecho internacional humanitario y en los códigos penales tienen que ser perseguidos.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). - Mr President, in January the Irish Presidency delivered a very strong statement asking the EU to counter hate crime, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and homophobia and highlighted the need for better data collection. That very mundane issue of data collection in fact is very important. It was about the very real human suffering on many streets around the European Union where people suffer hate crime – the reality of what it means to be different and to be violated. That is the reality of what we are discussing here today: being a Community of values but understanding that, even at European Union level, there is something that can be done. It is a very remarkable thing to hear the Commission and the Commissioner talk about what has been achieved in the Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia and what can be achieved in the Race Equality Directive, in the Employment Directive and all the tools that we have had in this House to deal with anti-discrimination – but the fundamental issue is that it has not been implemented in the way that we have wanted. That is the issue for us in this House today: implement what we have, implement the tools that we have developed in this House and that many Members in this House have worked very hard to deal with. Then we will have something that we can be proud of and that this resolution has focused on today.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – W Polce niedawno zapadł wyrok sądu skazujący na symboliczną karę lidera zespołu satanistycznego, który na publicznym koncercie podarł Biblię i kierował agresywne, wulgarne słowa wobec chrześcijan. Niestety wobec tej sytuacji Komisja Europejska, którą reprezentuje tutaj dzisiaj komisarz Reding, zareagowała, broniąc lidera tego zespołu i krytykując polski sąd, że narusza wartości europejskie. Pytam: czy Pana zdaniem Komisja powinna również bronić takich artystów, zespołów satanistycznych, którzy drą Koran albo Torę? Czy jest to zgodne w wartościami europejskimi?

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). - Mr President, can he repeat the question? I really did not understand it.

(The President said that it was not a blue-card question)

 
  
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  Jacek Protasiewicz (PPE). - Dziękuję bardzo Panie Przewodniczący! Zgadzam się ze słowami komisarz Reding i minister Creigthon, że rasizm, ksenofobia, jak i też zwykła nienawiść na tle religijnym lub politycznym są niestety stale obecne w Unii Europejskiej. Kryzys gospodarczy i wysokie bezrobocie, zwłaszcza wśród młodzieży, sprzyjają rozwojowi poglądów i postaw radykalnych. Tym bardziej więc trzeba być wyczulonym na to, co się dzieje w obszarze debaty publicznej w Europie. Nie ma wątpliwości, trzeba stanowczo zwalczać wszelkie przejawy agresji na tle różnic rasowych, etnicznych, religijnych lub politycznych. Ale nawet ostre reagowanie na ekscesy nie wystarcza. Trzeba reagować już na etapie zachęcania do nienawiści. Trzeba powstrzymywać mowę nienawiści. W moim kraju, w Polsce, zaczęły się właśnie prace nad zaostrzeniem kodeksu karnego w związku z przestępstwami zachęcania do nienawiści na tle przynależności narodowej, etnicznej, rasowej, politycznej i społecznej, ale także naturalnych lub nabytych cech osobistych lub przekonań.

Nasza rezolucja skupia się na wzywaniu rządów państw członkowskich i instytucji europejskich do takich właśnie działań. Miejmy jednak świadomość, że nie będą one nigdy skuteczne bez wsparcia społecznego. W tej sprawie potrzeba szerokiej koalicji z organizacjami pozarządowymi i niezależnymi, takimi jak chociażby federacje sportowe. Dobrze wiemy, że europejskie stadiony piłkarskie są zapleczem dla postaw agresywnych i agresywnych zachowań na tle rasistowskim i ksenofobicznym. Dlatego tak ważna jest inicjatywa podjęta przez UEFA pod nazwą „Football Against Racism in Europe”. Instytucje europejskie powinny wspierać takie działania, powinny współpracować z UEFA i każdą organizacją, która jest zdeterminowana, żeby walczyć z rasizmem i ksenofobią na swoim obszarze. Dziękuję.

 
  
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  Michael Cashman (S&D). - Mr President, the Commissioner has a brilliant record on defending fundamental values. Let me therefore state the obvious. The EU bans racist and xenophobic hate crime and hate speech because it brings a common EU approach to a common phenomenon. It ensures that the same behaviour means the same offence in all Member States and therefore means that penalties are equally effective, proportionate and dissuasive across the entire European Union.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people fall victim to hate speech and hate crime every day in Europe and therefore have the same need to see the sanctions equalised across the European Union. Last year, in the United Kingdom alone – a tolerant country of over 60 million people – 2 300 hate crimes were recorded against LGBT people. So how many homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are there every year in an EU of half a billion people and less tolerant countries?

Therefore, Mrs Reding, Mrs Malmström and in particular the Irish Presidency, I ask you this. Once the Fundamental Rights Agency publishes its landmark report on homophobia and transphobia in May, will you take these results into account in deciding whether to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the list of protected grounds for hate crime?

 
  
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  Lívia Járóka (PPE). - Mr President, if you look at the figures of the Fundamental Rights Agency on racial discrimination it is extremely disappointing, especially when it comes to European Roma citizens, who experience steadily growing discrimination throughout the EU, besides their persistent joblessness, segregated education, unhealthy living conditions, terrible healthcare situation, political under-representation and geographical isolation.

The long drawn-out economic crisis and growing existential insecurity is further feeding into anti-Roma sentiments. Europe has a plan for it, and implementing the European framework for national Roma strategies could be the best way of fighting these tendencies. It focuses on 40 million of the poorest European citizens, only 10 million of whom are of Roma origin. Therefore, it is vital that governments take an unwavering standpoint in support of human rights and European values, and also that they fulfil their constitutional obligation to defend their citizens during the culmination of social strengths and respond to any politically-driven provocation in a vigorous and lawful manner.

The race directive is also an extremely important tool in our hands and we believe, as Václav Havel once said, that the Roma are the litmus test of European democracy and civil society and it is our task, in our best capacities, to see it pass this test.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). - Señor Presidente, señora Comisaria, este Parlamento tiene el deber de implicarse en esta declaración de la Comisión y del Consejo, porque los delitos motivados por el racismo, por la xenofobia o por el prejuicio o la intolerancia contra los que se consideran más vulnerables o diferentes son la expresión o la punta del iceberg de un fenómeno mucho más complejo que está recorriendo Europa: el discurso del odio, que es el que está transformando lo que empezó siendo una crisis financiera, económica y social en una crisis política que afecta a los valores fundacionales de la construcción europea.

La intolerancia está recorriendo Europa y se manifiesta no solo a través de partidos extremistas, sino también a través del prejuicio y la estigmatización, que son cada vez más frecuentes en partidos de gobierno en los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea. Las causas las conocemos: el miedo, la explotación de la ansiedad y la pérdida de una cultura homogénea en la Unión Europea, pero también una lucha encarnizada por la protección social y por los valores económicos.

Por tanto, hace falta responder no solo políticamente, sino con legislación europea, reformando la Decisión marco del año 2008 y, atendiendo a los valores del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos y de la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la UE, legislar para reforzar la protección de la víctima y establecer un nuevo marco penal, con normas penales y sanciones que combatan no solamente la política del odio, sino también el discurso del odio.

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono passati oltre sessant'anni dal barbaro eccidio avvenuto in Sudafrica e, senza dubbio, sono stati compiuti passi avanti concreti. Tuttavia c'è ancora molto da fare. L'odio e la violenza come esclusione, come accanimento, persecuzione e ancora come mortificazione e azzeramento della personalità altrui, sono purtroppo piuttosto evidenti e presenti nei nostri Stati membri. Essi rappresentano sicuramente una minaccia per la sicurezza dei cittadini, ragion per cui è fondamentale il ruolo educativo della famiglia, così come parimenti fondamentale è quello della scuola.

Episodi di omofobia, di razzismo, di cristianofobia sono certamente laceranti per il tessuto sociale della nostra Unione: abbiamo bisogno di maggiore integrazione, di maggiore coesione sociale; abbiamo bisogno di tutelare le vittime e di incoraggiare i testimoni; abbiamo bisogno di proteggere le minoranze e certamente tutelare i soggetti vulnerabili.

Per questo in molti casi, trattandosi di reati transnazionali, c'è bisogno anche di maggiore cooperazione giudiziaria di polizia basata sulla fiducia fra gli Stati membri, c'è bisogno di maggiore formazione degli operatori giudiziari e c'è bisogno di una cultura della tolleranza, dell'integrazione e della pace. Bisogna tutelare i valori non negoziabili, che sono quelli delle libertà individuali.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Παπανικολάου (PPE). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ειπώθηκαν ήδη πολλά και συμφωνώ ότι συνήθως ο ρατσισμός και η ξενοφοβία είναι συγκάτοικοι του φόβου και της ανασφάλειας. Και σ' αυτό επιτείνει πολλές φορές και το έλλειμμα παιδείας που υπάρχει για τα θέματα αυτά. Είχαμε την ευκαιρία μάλιστα να τα κουβεντιάσουμε τα ζητήματα αυτά στην αποστολή της επιτροπής LIBE, μερικές εβδομάδες πριν στη Βιέννη, στον Οργανισμό για τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα, και συμφωνώ ότι οι καταγραφές που κάνουν και η δουλειά που κάνουν είναι πάρα πολύ χρήσιμα δεδομένα για όλους μας.

Είναι όμως τουλάχιστον κοντόφθαλμο να συζητάμε για πολιτικές κατευνασμού των άκρων, χωρίς παράλληλα να είμαστε αποτελεσματικοί στην αντιμετώπιση της ανασφάλειας των πολιτών. Κόμματα από διάφορες χώρες, τη Σουηδία, την Αυστρία, την Ιταλία, τη Γαλλία, την Ελλάδα και άλλες χώρες, τα οποία περιχαρακώνονται σε πολιτικές ξενοφοβικές, βρίσκουν έρεισμα μέσα στην κρίση. Εκμεταλλεύονται την ελλιπή ευρωπαϊκή αποτελεσματικότητα σε θέματα αντιμετώπισης κρίσιμων θεμάτων, όπως η ανεργία, η παράνομη μετανάστευση. Χρησιμοποιούν ελλείμματα σε πολιτικές αλληλεγγύης για να αποδομήσουν τη σημασία της ενωμένης Ευρώπης, να υπονομεύσουν δημοκρατικές αξίες και αρχές στις οποίες οι κοινωνίες μας είναι βασισμένες.

Και αυτό που ανησυχεί ακόμη περισσότερο είναι ότι ίσως, σε 14 μήνες περίπου από σήμερα, στα έδρανα αυτά πιθανότατα σε μια αντίστοιχη συζήτηση να έχουν βήμα σ’ αυτό το όργανο, στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, πολιτικοί σχηματισμοί που προωθούν αυτές τις ξενοφοβικές ατζέντες. Ο χρόνος είναι λίγος και η ευθύνη όλων μας είναι τεράστια.

(Χειροκροτήματα)

 
  
 

(Έναρξη της διαδικασίας «Catch-the-Eye»)

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (PPE). - Félelemnek, megfélemlítésnek nincs helye a XXI. században Európában. Elfogadhatatlan minden cselekedet – szavakban vagy tettekben –, ami sérti, veszélyezteti embertársait. Magyarországon ma ezen jelenségeket egyértelműen elítéli minden felelős politikus – élén a miniszterelnökkel – nemcsak szavakban, de tettekben is, amikor a gyűlöletbeszéd, a közösség elleni gyűlöletkeltés ellen a büntetőjog eszközei mellett a polgári jog eszközeivel is küzdeni kíván. Ugyanakkor sajnálom, hogy ebben a részletes határozattervezetben, amit elfogadunk itt, nem kap konkrét megemlítést az őshonos nemzeti kisebbségek elleni intolerancia, az ellenük irányuló gyűlöletkeltés és megfélemlítés. Noha ez egy nagyon is élő jelenség nap, mint nap itt az unió területén.

Például Romániában, amikor anyanyelvhasználatuk, nemzeti hovatartozásuk, irodalmi estek szervezéséért félemlítik meg az őshonos magyar kisebbséghez tartozókat. Vagy egyenesen másodlagos állampolgároknak nyilvánítják őket kormányok vezető emberei, mint pl. Szlovákiában. Ez sem kellene, hogy beleférjen az európai tűréshatárba.

 
  
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  Zita Gurmai (S&D). - Mr President, we have to acknowledge that racism and xenophobia do not come from nowhere. Europe faces a rise of extremist parties and hateful speeches fuelled by the economic crisis and social distress.

Simultaneously, we have witnessed a nationalist drift among traditional parties – even when in government – which only further legitimises such extremist discourses. This is a very dangerous drift, and one which we cannot tolerate. Every time a representative – or any politician for that matter – of one of the 27 Member States points out a country, an ethnicity, a minority, a religion or a sexual orientation as a scapegoat, it is the EU as a whole that suffers from it.

Every time a citizen or a part of the population is attacked for being diffferent or not patriotic enough, it is our common bounds and values that emerge weaker. We adopted a Charter on Fundamental Rights, and we ought to make sure it is respected in all Member States. Moreover, we need to address the roots of intolerance and racism. This means more social justice and more democracy.

 
  
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  Graham Watson (ALDE). - Mr President, I would like to thank the Commission for its work in fighting racism and xenophobia and to commend the work of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, which I visited last month.

In hard times, extra vigilance is essential. Many colleagues have drawn attention to problems in South-Eastern Europe, but I hope the Commission will not overlook challenges in Western Europe. In a recent by-election in the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom Independence Party put out leaflets claiming that 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians will come to the United Kingdom next year. Their canvassers on the doorsteps were far worse, arousing atavistic anguish and fanning the flames of fear. The reality is that Mr Farage’s party, represented in this House, is a xenophobic, anti-immigrant party which needs to be exposed and treated as such.

 
  
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  Tatjana Ždanoka (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, I would like to thank the Council and the Commissioner. Mrs Reding, I would like to refer to your statement that Member States are obliged to penalise hate speech. Unfortunately, in many Member States the narrow interpretation given to incitement to hatred in criminal law contributes to hindering the application of this.

I will give you one example from my Member State, Latvia: during one anti-fascist meeting, one neo-Nazi stated that Jews and Roma are not human beings and should be exterminated. He was initially sentenced to imprisonment for a breach of the law, which prohibited a charge of incitement to hatred on national and racial grounds; however, the Senate of the Supreme Court later found that the incriminated action constituted incitement, but on ethnic – not national and racial – grounds and acquitted the defendant.

So I would like to stress that there are many violations in the Member States, and I hope our colleagues will support the Greens’ amendments.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška (EFD). - Rozlišovanie ľudí podľa vonkajších znakov, farby pleti, charakteristických čŕt tváre a pod. má korene v histórii, keď sa etniká a rasy stretávali v súbojoch o hospodárske ovládnutie teritórií. Vytváraniu averzií medzi národmi, etnikami a rasami napomohli aj rozdielne náboženské a kultúrno-civilizačné obyčaje. Poznáme z histórie veľa prípadov, keď sa určitý národ či kultúrno-civilizačné zoskupenie vyhlásili za vyvolených a bezostyšne zotročovali, decimovali všetkých ľudí, ktorí nezodpovedali ich charakteristike vyvoleného národa. Civilizovaný svet dnes takéto triedenie ľudí na dobrých a zlých podľa vonkajších znakov či kultúrnych zvykov, alebo viery odmieta.

Vzhľadom na to, že historicky dlhodobo vybudované predsudky voči rasám sú v spoločnosti ešte hlboko zakorenené, musíme počítať s tým, že pre vytvorenie prostredia vzájomného rešpektu a úcty medzi všetkými ľuďmi budeme musieť vynaložiť ešte veľa úsilia. A to iste nielen v Európe.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI). - Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich mit einer Frage zu einem bestimmten Fall an die Kommissarin wenden. In Österreich haben wir bekanntlich an den Universitäten keinen Numerus clausus, was dazu führt, dass sehr viele deutsche Studenten zum Studieren nach Österreich kommen, vor allem in Medizin. Das macht natürlich die österreichischen Studenten nicht sehr glücklich. Das ist eine Tatsache, und die ist auch zu verstehen.

Nun hat eine Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts, die Österreichische Hochschülerschaft, finanziert durch Zwangsbeiträge der Studenten, zu einer Demonstration aufgerufen, interessanterweise gegen deutsche Studenten in Österreich. Vereinzelt sah man auch Plakate „Deutsche raus“. Jetzt stelle ich natürlich schon die Frage in den Raum: Ist das akzeptabel, wenn es von einer links-gerichteten Organisation kommt? Wird das dann genehmigt? Oder geht das, wenn es sich gegen Deutsche richtet, denn das sind ja ohnedies 80 Millionen? Ich würde schon glauben, dass der Aufschrei genauso groß sein sollte, wenn es von einer linken Organisation kommt. Der Aufschrei sollte auch genauso groß sein, wenn es gegen Deutsche geht, und nicht nur, wenn es gegen kleinere Gruppen in Europa geht. Daher wäre eine Antwort von Ihnen auch sehr interessant, Frau Kommissarin!

 
  
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  László Tőkés (PPE). - Elnök Úr! Üdvözlöm és támogatom Renate Weber és képviselőtársai indítványát. Ugyanakkor javasolom, hogy az idegengyűlölet elleni harc kiegészítéseképpen a hagyományos etnikai kisebbségeket sújtó diszkrimináció ellen is fokozzuk küzdelmünket. Romániában és több más környező országban oly méreteket öltött a magyarellenesség, hogy azt már-már az antiszemitizmushoz és a cigányellenességhez hasonlíthatjuk. Március 10-én a 90-es magyarellenes pogromról elhíresült Marosvásárhelyen tartottunk több tízezres tüntetést Székelyföld és erdélyi magyar autonómia mellett. Meggyőződésünk, hogy romániai magyarságunk demokratikus joga a közösségi önrendelkezés hatékony intézményes védelemképpen az etnikai diszkrimináció és a kisebbségi elnyomás ellenében.

Kérem a parlamentet, hogy ne csak a harmadik országokban, hanem az unión belül is kelljen védelmére a létükben veszélyeztetett nemzeti kisebbségeknek.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - A Uachtaráin, fáiltím roimh ár n-aire Lucinda Creighton as ucht teacht anseo. Molaim í agus ár nAire Dlí agus Cirt, Alan Shatter, as ucht an dea-obair atá á déanamh acu chun déileáil leis na fadhbanna móra seo.

I would just like to make a couple of points.

Firstly, Commissioner Reding asked us to support further funding for Remembrance programmes. I agree completely with her on that point, because they can get to young people and show them what the result is of these terrible practices in reality. That certainly needs to be upscaled.

Secondly, as a sportsman myself, I have been somewhat alarmed at the increase in racism during matches and in play generally. All sports organisations need to get to grips with this again to stamp it out. I know my own organisation back in Ireland, the Gaelic Athletic Association, has a programme called ‘Give racism the boot’ and that is what we need to do.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Δρούτσας (S&D). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα πρώτα απ' όλα να ευχαριστήσω την Επίτροπο κ. Reding για την αξιόλογή δουλειά της. Επιτρέψτε μου όμως να εστιάσω στην κατάσταση στη χώρα μου, την Ελλάδα, όπου είναι γνωστή δυστυχώς η άνοδος και η δράση της Χρυσής Αυγής, μιας ανοιχτά ναζιστικής οργάνωσης.

Θα ήθελα να τονίσω ένα σημείο μόνο: μην έχουμε ψευδαισθήσεις, όλοι μας φέρουμε ευθύνες γι’ αυτές τις εξελίξεις, στην Ελλάδα και σε άλλες χώρες. Και απευθύνω έκκληση στις κυβερνήσεις των κρατών μελών της Ένωσης να επανεξετάσουν τις πολιτικές που ασκούν απέναντι στις χώρες σε κρίση. Να πουν όχι στην παράλογα υπερβολική και μονόπλευρη λιτότητα, που οδηγεί στην εξαθλίωση χιλιάδων πολιτών και, μην ξεχνάμε, πρόκειται για Ευρωπαίους πολίτες.

Όταν σκέφτεσαι μόνο σε μακροοικονομικά μεγέθη και ξεχνάς ότι πίσω από τους αριθμούς βρίσκονται ανθρώπινες ζωές και τύχες, αυτές είναι οι συνέπειες· αυτές που βλέπουμε στην Ελλάδα με την άνοδο της Χρυσής Αυγής και, πολύ φοβούμαι, θα δούμε και σε άλλα κράτη μέλη. Είναι λοιπόν στο χέρι μας, στο χέρι όλων μας, και είναι ιστορική ευθύνη όλων μας να αναστρέψουμε αυτές τις εξελίξεις με τις σωστές αποφάσεις και πολιτικές.

 
  
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  Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (ALDE). - Ρατσισμός και ξενοφοβία απειλούν σήμερα τα θεμέλια της Ευρώπης, οικονομική κρίση και λιτότητα παραπέμπουν στη δημοκρατία της Βαϊμάρης. Η οικονομική εξαθλίωση γεννά φόβο, όπως το είπε ο κ. Δρούτσας, στις κοινωνίες. Πώς περιμένουμε να ενώσουμε τους Ευρωπαίους πολίτες, όταν αποδεχόμαστε πολιτικές που μεγαλώνουν τις ανισότητες ανάμεσα στα κράτη μέλη και τις κοινωνίες; Πώς περιμένουμε να μην εξεγερθεί ο κόσμος, όταν οι πολιτικές που εφαρμόζουμε αναγκάζουν χιλιάδες πολίτες να ζήσουν την οικογένειά τους με μισθό ή σύνταξη των 300 ευρώ; Εμείς μπορούμε; Φοβάμαι πως άθελά μας γινόμαστε σήμερα συμμέτοχοι και συνένοχοι σε ένα κεφάλαιο της ευρωπαϊκής ιστορίας για το οποίο θα ντρεπόμαστε στο μέλλον.

Ως άμεσα εκλεγμένοι βουλευτές, η ευθύνη που έχουμε είναι πολλαπλάσια. Οφείλουμε να ζητήσουμε έντονα και αποφασιστικά να σταματήσουν εδώ και τώρα τα απάνθρωπα μέτρα, ώστε να χτυπήσουμε αποτελεσματικά τον ρατσισμό και την ξενοφοβία τώρα που είναι ακόμη νωρίς.

 
  
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  Csaba Sándor Tabajdi (S&D). - Kedves Kollégák! A mai vita során nem beszéltünk az előítéletességnek egy olyan területéről, amely terjed Európában: a szegényellenesség, a szegényekkel szembeni fellépés. Ilyen példát láthatunk most sajnos a tegnapi magyarországi alkotmánymódosítás kapcsán, amikor a hajléktalanokat, mint szegény embereket megpróbálják kriminalizálni az alkotmánynak a szintjén. Egyetértek mindenkivel, hogy uniós szinten, közösségi szinten kell föllépnünk a rasszizmus, a gyűlöletkeltés bármilyen formájával szemben. És kérem Reding asszonyt, hogy amit korábban javasolt, hogy jöjjön létre egy igazságügyi ellenőrző monitoring mechanizmus, egy igazságügyi szemeszter az európai demokráciák állapotának vizsgálatára.

Ebben a kérdésben is rendkívül fontos mit tesznek az európai kormányok a gyűlöletbeszéd visszaszorítása érdekében. Utolsó mondatként: aki csak félszívvel lép fel a kirekesztéssel... (Az elnök megvonta a szót a képviselőtől.)

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, I have been very moved by many of the contributions to the debate. I have been shocked by some, but I prefer to forget them and to concentrate on the moving and correct analyses which have been put forward by the Members of this Parliament – and I can tell you that I am as concerned as you are about the rise of racism, xenophobia and hate crimes based on race, colour, religion, descent, ethnic origin or membership of LGBT groups.

Any of this intolerance is unacceptable: we cannot differentiate or rank some types of intolerance over others. They are all to be eliminated.

We do have a European law, the framework decision on racism and xenophobia, which dates from 2008 – pre-Lisbon times as you know – and which obliges Member States to penalise intentional public incitement to violence against groups defined by their race, and we need to ensure that it is properly enforced. For that reason, we are reviewing it after five years, as is our normal practice, and at the end of this year I will come forward with a report on what has happened in the various Member States on the basis of that legislation.

Only after 1 December 2014, when the pre-Lisbon texts are ‘Lisbonised’, can we institute infringement proceedings, so it is currently too soon to assess whether the instrument in question should be revised, because we first need to see how it is being applied. After 1 December 2014, if we see that there are holes in this text, we can propose a revision of it, which will, of course, depend on the legal analysis of whether we have the power to correlate criminal legislation against hate crime.

We are aware of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights study on LGBT people: there were 90 000 respondents so it will be a comprehensive and solid study, and I imagine we will discuss it in this House in order to assess the extent of the problem generally and in the various Member States.

That brings me to the question of statistics, because before you can develop a policy you must know not only how a law has been applied, but also the number of people in danger, and the number of crimes being committed. The systematic collection of crime data is not as well developed as it should be.

A recent report by the Fundamental Rights Agency shows that only four Member States collect comprehensive crime data, whereas 14 Member States collect limited or no data. So you can see that we have a basic problem here because before you develop new legislation you need to have a basis for it. That is why, in the new laws which I have put on the table since 2009, data collection is explicitly provided for in the legislative text.

Let me give you the example of the Victims’ Rights Directive: it places a strong emphasis on the systematic collection of statistical data because only that will allow us to see, after some time, whether the directive has been applied properly or whether we need to change certain elements of it. So all the new legislation which I have put on the table since Lisbon has had the collection of data written in as a must; and we will have to resolve the ‘pre-Lisbon’ questions when the statutory time comes to do so.

 
  
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  Lucinda Creighton, President-in-Office of the Council. − Mr President, firstly I would like to say that this has been a fascinating debate, with a broad range of views and perspectives from across the Chamber. I would like to thank Parliament for putting this very important item on today’s agenda.

It is absolutely vital that we take every opportunity to continue to raise awareness of the scourge of racism and xenophobia. As I mentioned in my introductory remarks, we celebrate next week the Europe-wide Action against Racism. We declare our solidarity with all minorities and our determination to protect their rights. That is extremely important.

Minimum standards enshrined in EU law are a way of fighting racism, anti-semitism and homophobia. Once such laws are in place, we must ensure that they are respected, both in spirit as well as in practice.

A number of Members raised the issue of the Anti-Discrimination Directive. I know that this is a very complex and challenging file for us in Council. As you will be well aware, unanimity is required and negotiations have been ongoing since as far back as 2008.

I can simply reiterate the Irish Presidency’s commitment to making progress on these negotiations. They are not easy, that is for sure. At the moment I am not in a position to anticipate the timing of an outcome, but we are very much committed and working very hard to make progress on that very important directive.

It is important to say that, while the legal framework is extremely important, we must also have the courage to raise awareness and to guard against the attitudes that make discrimination possible. This is very much about getting into the minds and the hearts of citizens and changing attitudes and improving culture. A number of Members have alluded to that. I think it is very tempting, at times such as these – times of great economic hardship – for some individuals and groups to look for scapegoats.

Therefore, at this difficult time, we have to be especially vigilant to defend our values and speak out against prejudice, against bigotry and against hatred. All crimes motivated by racism and xenophobia – all forms of discrimination – affect not just the victim, but all of society. That is something we have to continually remind ourselves. Europe’s reputation, of course, depends on securing and defending the very basic values which our societies are based upon.

I would just like to pick up on the point made by the Vice-President of the Commission, Commissioner Reding: that it is extremely important that the atrocities and hate crimes of the past are not forgotten; that we do not allow them to be forgotten; and that we do not lose those valuable lessons we have learned from those experiences in our quite recent history.

I very much support the Commissioner’s approach to trying to ensure that we remember and honour victims and that we continually try to remind people, particularly the younger generation, of those atrocities that have gone before them.

A number of Members, including Mr Kelly, also mentioned the value of reaching out to NGOs, to civil societies and particularly to sporting organisations. I think that is a very valuable lesson that we have to learn; where the very important role models for young people show leadership and show conviction when defending our basic values and the things that we hold dear.

A number of Members, including Mr Claeys and Mr Vanhecke, made the argument that the subject of racism is often misused to constrain legitimate discussion. That certainly cannot be allowed to happen. But this is to confuse the subject. Facts are not hidden. However, labelling, discriminating against, or indeed inciting hatred against people on grounds of race, colour, religious creed, sexual orientation, or other proscribed grounds, is not acceptable. That is the message that has to go very clearly from this Chamber and from all of the European Institutions as we work to promote and defend our basic values.

I would like to conclude by thanking Members for the very warm and positive reaction to the Irish Presidency’s initiative at the Justice and Home Affairs Council. You can rest assured that we will take that work forward over the months ahead. Thank you very much once again for this very stimulating debate.

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. - Έλαβα πέντε προτάσεις ψηφίσματος για την περάτωση αυτής της συζήτησης, σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 110 παράγραφος 2 του Κανονισμού(1).

Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Η ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί αύριο, Τετάρτη 13 Μαρτίου, στις 12 το μεσημέρι.

(Η ψηφοφορία, κατόπιν τούτου, ανεβλήθη για την Πέμπτη 14 Μαρτίου 2013)

Γραπτές δηλώσεις (άρθρο 149)

 
  
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  Ioan Enciu (S&D), în scris. – De la începutul crizei financiare, atenţia autorităţilor naţionale şi europene s-a concentrat pe politicile economice şi de austeritate, iar apărarea valorilor de bază ale Uniunii, precum drepturile fundamentale, solidaritatea şi pacea socială, au fost neglijate. Astăzi putem vedea efectele dezastruoase ale acestei neglijenţe. Manifestările şi discursurile rasiste, xenofobe, anti-semite şi naţionaliste s-au multiplicat tot mai mult şi au ajuns să fie promovate nu doar de partide extremiste ci şi de personalităţi şi mişcări politice de prim plan.

De departe, cea mai urâtă şi mai discriminată comunitate din Europa este cea romă. Strategia europeană din 2011 nu a avut niciun rezultat. De aceea, cred că ea trebuie să fie revizuită şi ameliorată, mai ales pentru a aborda şi a recunoaşte fenomenul rasismului împotriva romilor şi pentru a întări rolul autorităţilor locale în politicile de incluziune.

Vreau, de asemenea, să atrag atenţia că xenofobia şi rasismul nu afectează doar anumite etnii, dar şi naţiuni întregi. Mă refer în special la români şi bulgari, care continuă să fie trataţi în multe state europene ca nişte cetăţeni de rangul doi, care nu ar trebui să aibă acces la drepturi de bază precum libertatea de circulaţie şi de muncă, lucru care este inacceptabil.

 
  
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  Alajos Mészáros (PPE), írásban. Az Európai Unió a demokrácia, az emberi jogok és a jogállamiság tiszteletére épül, mégsem egyértelmű ezen elvek következetes elismerése a tagállamokban. Sőt, az utóbbi, gazdasági válsággal jellemzett időszak azt mutatja, hogy az emberi jogok tiszteletben tartása terén még ma is sok hiányossággal kell szembe néznünk. Állandó és uniós szinten rendezetlen problémaként jelentkezik a kisebbségben élő népcsoportok diszkriminációja. Pont ezért hiányolom a rasszizmus, az idegengyűlölet és a gyűlölet-bűncselekmények elleni küzdelem erősítéséről szóló parlamenti állásfoglalásból az őshonos nemzeti kisebbségek konkrét megemlítését. Az EP nem lép fel eléggé az őshonos nemzeti kisebbségek elleni intolerancia, az ellenük irányuló gyűlöletkeltés és megfélemlítés problémájának rendezése érdekében, pedig az EU polgárainak jelentős hányadáról van szó. Az európai értékektől távol állnak és elfogadhatatlanok a szlovák miniszterelnök közelmúltbeli kijelentései, amelyek nemcsak az ország lakosságának 10%-át kitevő legnagyobb lélekszámú kisebbség, a magyar közösség, hanem minden kisebbséghez tartozó szlovák állampolgár ellen irányultak. Megengedhetetlen és elítélendő bármely uniós tagállam, illetve vezetőjének ilyen formájú megnyilvánulása.

 
  
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  Boris Zala (S&D), písomne. – Rasizmus je tým najnebezpečnejším delením ľudstva na smrteľných nepriateľov. Má rôzne podoby. Dnes sú najnebezpečnejšími nacionalizmus, antisemitizmus, ale aj všetky fóbie proti imigrantom či etnikám, ako sú Cigáni. Všetky tieto formy neznášanlivosti majú dnes spoločného menovateľa, pod ktorým sa ukrývajú nacionalizmus a protieurópanstvo. Až v hysterickom zápase proti projektu európskej integrácie je ukryté vyzdvihovanie až zbožšťovanie národnej výlučnosti. Dnes sa tvári, že nie je namierené proti inému národu, ale proti bruselskej byrokracii. To preto, že práve prehlbovanie európskej integrácie je definitívnym koncom národnej nevraživosti, ale aj sna o národnej nadradenosti, výnimočnosti či povyšovania sa nad národy iné.

Európska integrácia je ráznou odpoveďou nacionalizmu práve preto, že zabezpečuje každému národu rovnoprávne postavenie a neumožňuje nadvládu jedného nad druhým. To mnohým prekáža v ich sne o vyvolenosti. Jedným z dôvodov, prečo aj my Slováci vo veľkej väčšine podporujeme európsku integráciu je práve v historickej skúsenosti z nášho vlastného nacionalizmu, ktorý nás doviedol ku kolaborácii s Hitlerom. Ale aj zo skúsenosti z expanzívneho nacionalizmu nášho maďarského suseda, ktorý ohrozuje našu celistvosť, občiansku súdržnosť a európske hodnoty. Zápas za jednotnú Európu je dnes kľúčový preto, že tvorí hrádzu proti nenávistnému rasizmu a expanzívnemu nacionalizmu. Je škoda, že si to mnohí antieurópania neuvedomujú.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ROBERTA ANGELILLI
Vicepresidente

 
  

(1)Βλ. Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά.

Last updated: 30 May 2013Legal notice