Council of EU adopts declaration against antisemitism, aims for better protection of Jewish communities
The Council of the European Union approved on December 6 a declaration on the fight against antisemitism and the development of a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in Europe.
In its declaration, the Council acknowledges that Jewish communities in some EU countries feel particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks, following an increase in violent incidents in recent years.
It notes that antisemitic hatred remains widespread, as confirmed by the 2018 Fundamental Rights Agency report on antisemitism, the findings of which are due to be released on December 7.
The declaration invites EU countries to adopt and implement a holistic strategy to prevent and fight all forms of antisemitism, as part of their strategies on preventing racism, xenophobia, radicalisation and violent extremism. It calls on member states to increase their efforts to ensure security for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens.
European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourová welcomed the declaration in a joint statement: “In times of growing antisemitic hatred, the unanimous adoption of the Declaration on the fight against antisemitism by the 28 EU member states sends an important signal to the Jewish community; the EU and each of its member states stand by their side to guarantee their safety and well-being.
“We will combine our efforts at European and national level to ensure that Jewish Europeans can build a common future for themselves and their children in Europe, together with all Europeans.”
The joint statement said that the declaration invites member states and the Commission to take concrete steps to better protect the Jewish community in Europe and to continue their fight against antisemitism.
“We cannot have a common fight without a common definition of what we are fighting against. Member states are called to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism as a guidance tool, which would be an important step in the fight against antisemitism.
“The European Commission stands firm against any form of antisemitism, and will continue working hand-in-hand with member states on this important issue.”
(Antisemitic graffiti in a Sofia street in September 2017, reading – in translation – ‘Hitler was right’. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)