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Parliamentary questions
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12 February 2021
E-005869/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Dalli
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005869/2020

The Commission condemns discrimination, hate crime and hate speech and encourages all Member States to combat all these forms of intolerance. On 18 September 2020, the Commission adopted its EU anti-racism action plan 2020-2025(1).

The action plan indicates that the Commission shall, as a matter of priority, make a comprehensive effort to ensure a full and correct transposition and implementation of the framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia(2) across the EU. The Commission will propose to extend the list of EU crimes to include hate crime and hate speech, whether because of race, religion, gender or sexuality(3).

While individual cases of incorrect application of EC law are better dealt with at the national level, the Commission may intervene in cases of a systematic failure by a Member State to comply with EC law or when national legislation does not comply with EC law(4).

Beyond the full implementation of EU legislation and its strengthening, the action plan envisages a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, including organisations representing affected communities. Targeted measures are combined with equality mainstreaming into all EU policies, legislation and funding programmes. All Member States are encouraged to adopt national action plans against racism and racial discrimination by the end of 2022. The Commission will report on their implementation by the end of 2023.

The High Level Group on combating Racism and Xenophobia(5) will continue its work to ensure the effective implementation of EU legislation in this area , by providing guidance to national authorities. Training of law enforcement officers and equality data collection are currently amongst the Group’s priority areas of work.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/combatting-discrimination/racism-and-xenophobia/eu-anti-racism-action-plan-2020-2025_en
(2)Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.
(3)State of the Union 2020. Letter of Intent to President David Maria Sassoli and to Chancellor Angela Merkel: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/state_of_the_union_2020_letter_of_intent_en.pdf .
(4)See in this context for example, an infringement procedure was initiated against Romania on 30 October 2020. More information available at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_20_1687
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/item-detail.cfm?item_id=51025
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