MEPs adopt resolution on the increase in racist and homophobic violence in Europe

In adopting a joint resolution from the PES, ALDE, Greens and GUE/NGL political groups, by 301 in favour to 161 against with 102 abstentions, Parliament deplores the fact that the Council has been unable to adopt the 2001 Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia.
MEPs urgently call on the future Finnish Presidency of the Council to the restart the work on it and on the Council to reach an agreement on explicitly extending it to homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and other types of offences motivated by phobia or hatred based on ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion or other irrational grounds.

MEPs urge all the Member States to effectively implement the anti-discrimination directives and the Commission to bring before the Court of Justice those Member States which fail to do so, and to submit before mid-2007 new legislative tools incorporating all the grounds for discrimination set out in Article 13 of the EC Treaty and having the same scope as Directive 2000/43/EC.

The House strongly condemns all racist attacks, and expresses its solidarity with all victims of such attacks and their families, including:

– the premeditated murder of a black woman of Malian nationality and the Belgian child of whom she was the nurse, perpetrated in Antwerp on 12 May 2006 by a young Belgian right-wing extremist, this same person having a few moments earlier seriously wounded a woman of Turkish origin while trying to kill her;

– the murder of a 16-year-old boy in January 2006 and of a 17-year old boy in April 2006 in Brussels, expressing its indignation at some of the media coverage of these murders, which at times led to unfounded criminalisation of whole communities in the eyes of the general public;

– the rape, torture and assassination of Ilan Halimi in February 2006 in France by a gang of 22 persons of different origins, expressing its deep concern at the anti-Semitic dimension of this crime;

– the assassination of Chaïb Zehaf in March 2006 in France due to his ethnic origin;

– the brutal assault on a German citizen of Ethiopian origin, Kevin K., in the village of Poemmelte, Saxony-Anhalt, on 9 January 2006, in particular because of its racial motive;

– the horrific torture and murder of Gisberta, a transsexual living in the Portuguese city of Oporto, in February 2006, by a group of adolescent and pre-adolescent minors, urging the Portuguese authorities to do everything in their power to punish those responsible and fight the climate of impunity with respect to this and other hate crimes;

– the attack against Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, which took place in Warsaw, as well as the declarations by a leading member of the League of Polish Families inciting violence against GLBT people with a view to the march for tolerance and equality;

– the increase in the number of racist attacks, calls and chants by fans with neo-Nazi allegiances in football stadiums;
MEPs call on the EU representatives at the upcoming G8 Summit to raise the issue of human rights with Russia as a matter of urgency, in particular the right to demonstrate peacefully. The House also calls on the institutions of the European Union, the Member States and all European democratic political parties to condemn all acts of intolerance and of incitement to racial hatred, as well as all acts of harassment or racist violence.

The House calls on the Member States to give proper attention to the fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia both in their relations with each other and in their bilateral relations with third countries.  MEPs will call on the Commission to continue developing an anti-discrimination policy alongside its emerging policy on integration.

Parliament stresses the need to support anti-racist and anti-xenophobic initiatives in relation to the current World Cup in Germany, and asks authorities to closely monitor, prosecute and condemn those responsible for racist acts.