In a resolution adopted on March 26, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to take measures to tackle the structural racism that people of African descent face in Europe.
With 535 in favour to 80 votes against, and 44 abstentions, the European Parliament urged EU and national authorities to develop anti-racism policies and stop discrimination; in the fields of education, housing, health, criminal justice, political participation and migration.
About 15 million people of African descent currently live in Europe. They face persistent discrimination and are subject to deeply rooted negative stereotyping, the European Parliament said in a background note. Evidence suggests that Afro-European children receive lower grades at school than their white counterparts, and their rate of early school leaving is markedly higher.
In light of increasing afrophobic attacks, MEPs called on the European Commission and EU member states to acknowledge the racist, discriminatory and xenophobic suffering of Afro-Europeans, and offer proper protection against these inequalities to ensure that hate crimes are suitably investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned.
Additionally, people of African descent should be taken into account more in current funding programmes and in the next multiannual financial framework.
MEPs condemned the mistreatment of people of African descent in police custody, citing the numerous violent incidents and deaths that have occurred while in custody.
They also noted the frequent use of racial and ethnic profiling in criminal law enforcement, counter-terrorism measures and immigration control, and urge member states to end this practice.
The resolution encourages EU institutions and member states to address and rectify past injustices and crimes against humanity, perpetrated in the name of European colonialism. These historic crimes still have present day negative consequences for people of African descent, MEPs said.
MEPs suggest carrying out reparations, such as apologising publicly and return stolen artefacts to their countries of origin.
The European Parliament also called on EU countries to declassify their colonial archives, as well as to present a comprehensive perspective on colonialism and slavery in the educational curricula.
(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)