European Commission Issues Communication Urging Unity Against Hatred
The European Commission and the High Representative have released yesterday, 6 December 2023, a Communication called “No place for hate: a Europe united against hatred”.
This initiative comes at a critical moment, when instances of hate speech, violence and intolerance have increased in Europe. In the words of High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell: “Tragically, history repeats itself. Conflicts and disinformation worldwide are sowing the seeds of hatred. All persons must be protected and respected, no matter their religion or belief, nationality, gender, race or any other pretext misused to incite discrimination, hatred or violence. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we cannot make the same mistakes of the past. I urge the international community to join us in upholding human rights for everyone, everywhere, and to fight intolerance and prejudice.”
The communication will be followed by concrete measures. First, the PROTECT programme will receive additional funding for the protection of places of worship of all faiths. Then, online hate speech will be targeted through a reinforced Code of Conduct, which will include new obligations for online social media platforms in the Digital Services Act and increased cooperation with civil society representatives, experts, and public authorities to detect and counter hate speech. The Commission's Coordinators on anti-racism will be upgraded to Envoys, who will improve coordination and the potential of EU policies to combat hatred of every kind. The Commission will support journalism training programs focused on maintaining media standards and identifying hate speech. Furthermore, it will advance projects that actively promote inclusivity and diversity in education, culture, and sport.
Future plans related to this action include a high-level anti-hatred conference in 2024 and European dialogues for reconciliation that will bring forward recommendations on how to mend fractured communities in EU and promote tolerance.