On 9 December 2021, the Commission adopted a Communication on 'A more inclusive and protective Europe: extending the list of EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime' which aims to trigger a Council Decision extending to hate crime and hate speech the current list of so-called ‘EU crimes’ as laid down in Art 83 TFEU. Such decision would enable the Commission, in a second stage, to strengthen the legal framework on tackling hate speech and hate crime across the EU.

Key information on the initiative

The Commission aims to bring forward an extension of the list of areas of crime (‘EU crimes’), laid down in Article 83(1) TFEU, to hate speech and hate crime.

This Treaty provision lays down an exhaustive list of areas of crime where the EU legislator may establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions applicable in all EU Member States. It also provides that, based on developments in crime, the Council may adopt a decision identifying other areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension resulting from the nature or impact of such offences or from a special need to combat them on a common basis.

The Commission considers that hate speech and hate crime are particularly serious crimes because of their harmful impacts on fundamental rights, on the individuals and on society at large, undermining the foundations of the EU.

Following the Communication by the Commission, the Council needs to agree on the adoption of a decision, with the consent of the European Parliament.

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