European Commission to appoint co-ordinator for anti-racism

The European Commission is to appoint a co-ordinator for anti-racism as part of an action plan against racism over the next five years.

The Commission said in a statement on September 18 that the EU Action Plan against racism 2020-2025 sets outs a number of actions to tackle racism through EU law but also other means – working with EU countries, including national law enforcement, media and civil society; harnessing available and future EU tools; and looking into Commission’s own human resources.

The action plan calls for better enforcement of EU law.

“The EU has a strong legal framework to combat discrimination, racism, xenophobia, but there is a clear need to reassess this framework and identify any potential gaps to fill.”

In 2021, the Commission will report on the application of Racial Equality Directive and would follow up with any possible legislation by 2022.

The Commission will also ensure a full and correct transposition and implementation of the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia, including through infringement procedures.

The action plan also calls for closer coordination. The Commission will appoint a coordinator for anti-racism and start regular dialogue with stakeholders, meeting at least twice a year.

The coordinator will liaise with people with a minority racial or ethnic background and interact with EU countries, the European Parliament, civil society, academia and the Commission to strengthen policy responses in the field of anti-racism.

The plan calls for fair policing and protection. With support of EU Agencies, such as the Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), member states are encouraged to step up efforts to prevent discriminatory attitudes by law enforcement authorities and to boost the credibility of law enforcement work against hate crimes.

The action plans envisages reinforced action at national level. EU countries are encouraged to adopt national action plans against racism and racial discrimination by the end of 2022.

By the end of 2021, the Commission, working with national experts, will put together the main principles to produce effective national action plans and will deliver a first progress report by the end of 2023.

It also envisages increased diversity of EU staff.

The Commission will take steps to significantly improve the representativeness of Commission staff through measures targeting recruitment and selection. Other EU institutions are invited to take similar steps.

Other measures mentioned in the Action Plan include: awareness raising and addressing racial and ethnic stereotypes through media, education, culture and sport; and improved collection of data disaggregated by ethnic or racial origin. The Commission will also launch an annual designation of European capital(s) of inclusion and diversity and organise a summit against racism in spring 2021.

(Photo via maxpixel)

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