Hate speech and hate crime must become crimes under EU law 

Parliament is set to call on the Council to finally act to tackle hate speech and hate crime in the EU, in a debate on Wednesday and a vote on Thursday.

The draft report asks for progress on classifying hate speech and hate crime as “EU crimes” - a process stalled in Council since 2022. MEPs highlight the need to ensure all individuals and groups that can become targets of hate are protected, and to ensure that freedom of expression is not exploited to protect hate speech and hate crimes. They are also set to call for an “open-ended” approach whereby incidents would be assessed based on their contextual circumstances.

So-called EU crimes are crimes of a particularly serious nature with a cross-border dimension, as set out in Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Currently, member states’ laws deal with hate speech and hate crime in different ways, while EU-wide rules are limited in their scope to race, skin colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

Procedure code: 2023/2068(INI)

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

Debate: Wednesday, 17 January

Vote: Thursday, 18 January