The European Parliament expressed on October 25 its concern at the increasing normalisation of fascism, racism and xenophobia and called on EU member states to ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups.
In a resolution passed with 355 votes to 90 and 39 abstentions, MEPs denounce that the lack of serious action against these groups has enabled the current xenophobic surge in Europe.
The text mentions the attack that killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, the murder of UK MP Jo Cox in 2016 and the recent attack by fascist squads in Italy against MEP Eleonora Forenza.
It also refers to several incidents involving fascists in Poland, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Latvia and the Nordic countries, the European Parliament said in a statement.
MEPs argue that the impunity enjoyed by far-right organisations in some member states is one of the reasons behind the rise in violent actions, affecting society as a whole and targeting particular minorities such as black Europeans/people of African descent, Jews, Muslims, Roma, non-EU nationals, LGBTI people, and persons with disabilities.
They propose setting up anti-hate crime units in police forces to ensure these crimes are investigated and prosecuted. They also urge national authorities to “effectively ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and any other foundation or association that exalts and glorifies Nazism and fascism”.
Troubled by reports of collusion between political leaders, political parties and law enforcement with neo-fascists and neo-Nazis in some member states, the European Parliament calls on the member states to “clearly condemn and sanction” hate crime, hate speech and scapegoating by politicians and public officials, as they directly normalise and reinforce hatred and violence.
Measures are also necessary to counteract the spread of racism, fascism and xenophobia through the internet, in co-operation with social media companies.
The resolution demands that EU member states and national sports federations, in particular football clubs, counteract the scourge of racism, fascism and xenophobia in stadiums and in sports culture by condemning and punishing those responsible and by promoting positive educational activities targeting young fans, in cooperation with schools and civil society organisations.
EU countries should also set up “exit programmes” to help individuals to leave violent neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups.
MEPs emphasise the importance of education, to increase history awareness among the youth and call for a clear rejection of the fascist crimes of the past. They underline that the truth about the Holocaust must not be trivialised.