In a November plenary vote Parliament demanded a robust and multifaceted approach to combat all forms of racism and discrimination, including structural and institutional racism, in the EU.
In a resolution Parliament strongly condemned that minorities and migrants, including LGBTQI persons, face structural racism, discrimination, hate, sustained inequalities, difficulties in accessing the justice system, and violence by the police.
As reported by the 2019 Eurobarometer, over half of Europeans believe that racial discrimination is widespread in their country, with “Being Roma” (61% of respondents), “Ethnic origin” (59%) and “Skin colour” (59%) being the top three grounds for discrimination.
On 18 September 2020, the European Commission published its communication “A Union of equality: EU anti-racism action plan 2020-2025”. Concretely, the Action Plan calls for better enforcement of EU law; closer coordination, including through the appointment of a Coordinator for Anti-racism; the adoption of national action plans against racism and racial discrimination; more efforts in preventing discriminatory attitudes by law enforcement authorities; and increased diversity of staff in the EU institutions. Equality is one of the fundamental values on which the EU is founded.
It is duly reflected in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. International agreements, such as the European Convention on Human Rights also prohibit discrimination on various grounds, with limited exceptions in justified cases. With regard to the fight against racism and xenophobia, the main EU instrument is the Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law. This framework decision harmonises criminal definitions and sanctions.
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