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Combating antisemitism

The Commission publishes study on digital violent right-wing extremist content

22 July 2021 - The Commission published a study entitled 'Heroes and scapegoats: Right-wing extremism in digital environments'. The study focusses on the different aspects of digital violent right-wing extremist (VRWE) content, i.e., textual or visual messages that express acceptance, condoning, justification or acclamation of violence for the sake of a radical nationalistic ideal. The study, among other groups, focusses thereby on Jews as a target of VRWE.

 
Commission calls on Greece, the Netherlands and Lithuania to fully transpose EU law criminalising hate speech and hate crimes

09 June 2021 - The Commission decided to send letters of formal notice to Greece, the Netherlands and Lithuania as their national laws do not fully or accurately transpose EU rules on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA). The purpose of this Framework Decision is to ensure that serious manifestations of racism and xenophobia, such as public incitement to violence or hatred, are punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties.

 
President von der Leyen addresses AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021

9 June 2021 - The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed thousands participating in the 2021 American Jewish Committee (AJC) Virtual Global Forum. She reiterated the Commission’s commitment to fighting antisemitism, fostering Jewish life, Holocaust remembrance and strong EU-Israel partnership.

 
5th Meeting of the Working Group on combating antisemitism

3 - 4 June 2021 - The European Commission organised its 5th meeting of the Working Group on combating antisemitism as a key event to consult Member States and Jewish communities on their ideas for the first-ever EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life. The strategy will be adopted by the European Commission by the end of 2021. The objective of the meeting was to gain input from national authorities and stakeholders on the most important issues that the strategy should address and concrete actions to tackle them. Vice-President for promoting our European Way of life, Margaritis Schinas, presented the work that paved the way in the fight against discrimination, racism and antisemitism.

 
The Commission co-organises training for Croatian national security intitutions on raising awareness about antisemitism

7 June 2021 - The European Commission together with the OSCE ODIHR and the World Jewish Congress organised the training on 'Raising Awareness and Building Effective Communication between National Security Institutions and the Jewish Community in Croatia'. Katharina von Schnurbein, Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, gave an opening speech in which she highlighted the rise in antisemitism and the need to combat it, including through the upcoming Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in the EU. Wester Meijdam, Policy Officer, gave an overview of the challenges faced by today's Jewish community in Europe and the EU policies to combat antisemitism and foster Jewish life. He focused on the need to improve data collection and recording of antisemitic incidents, and highlighted funding opportunities to combat antisemitism.

 
New study shows rise in antisemitic online content during the pandemic

The Commission has published the findings of the study “The rise of Antisemitism online during the pandemic”, conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), on the occasion of the 5th European Commission Working Group on combating antisemitism. The study analyses online content in French and German. Comparing the first two months of 2020 with the first two of 2021, the findings show a seven-fold increase in antisemitic content on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram in French, and over a thirteen-fold increase in antisemitic content in German.

 
Commission presents guidance to strengthen the Code of Practice on Disinformation

26 May 2021 - Today, the Commission publishes its guidance on how the Code of Practice on Disinformation, the first of its kind worldwide, should be strengthened to become a more effective tool for countering disinformation. It sets out Commission expectations, calls for stronger commitments by the signatories and foresees a broader participation to the Code.

 
European Commission strongly condemns antisemitism in Europe following Middle East conflict

14 May 2021 – The European Commission expressed solidarity with European Jewish communities as a response to the rise of antisemitic attacks, which followed the escalation of conflict in the Middle-East. President Ursula von der Leyen condemned the indiscriminate attacks by Hamas on Israel and stated that violence “must end now”. Vice-President Věra Jourová joined in calling on Member States to remain vigilant while expressing her solidarity with the Jewish community. She also indicated that there is no excuse for violence on European streets and that antisemitic hate crime and hate speech has to be brought to justice.

 
Katharina von Schnurbein addresses event on implementation of three IHRA definitions

19 May 2021 – The Commission’s Coordiantor on Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein, opened the Educational Webinar: “Practical implementation of the three Non-legally binding IHRA working definitions in multicultural societies: lessons learned, best practices, steps forward”. The multilateral Webinar was organised jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, and the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 
Antisemitism discussed at the Third Ecumenical Kirchentag

13 May 2021 – At the Third Ecumenical Kirchentag event that took place in an hybrid format (online and Frankfurt, Germany), the European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein, joined the President of the Jewish communities in Germany, Dr Josef Schuster, and others in answering the question “What can we do against antisemitism?”.

 
European Commission presents its work on combating antisemitism at the EPP Working Group

11 May 2021 – The EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue held a seminar on ‘Antisemitism in Europe’ chaired by MEP Jan Olbrycht, where coordinators on combating antisemitism as well as civil society Jewish organisations were invited to present the worrying rise of antisemitism in Europe, the actions to combat this trend and the ways to address antisemitism at political level. Katharina von Schnurbein, Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, presented the work carried out by the European Commission in this fight and the EU Strategy on combating antisemitism, which will be adopted at the end of 2021.

 
European Commission joins Commemoration of Shoah on Europe Day

10 May 2021 - At the annual commemoration of the Shoah that took place at the 'Monument of Jews deported from Antwerp', Katharina von Schnurbein, Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, joined Regina Suchowolski-Sluszny, Holocaust survivor and President of the FORUM der Joodse Organisaties, H.E. Amb. Martin Kotthaus, Ambassador of Germany to Belgium, and Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, in remembering the victims of the Holocaust and reflecting on how to commemorate the Shoah in a digital era, when direct witnesses will no longer be with us.

 
At the UN: highlighting Jewish culture

26 April 2021 - The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy organised a celebration of Jewish culture on the occasion of the Second Passover, under the theme "Purim of Carpentras". Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, joined in the celebration alongside UN diplomats, special envoys and rapporteurs on fighting antisemitism and defending freedom of religion.

 
The European Commission in conversation with the Jewish community of Finland

16 March 2021 - In a conversation with the President of Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, Yaron Nadbornik, the European Commission Coordinator on Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein, addressed the question of safety and ways to safeguard Jewish life in Europe.

 
European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism addresses OSCE experts meeting

1, 2 February 2021 - The Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship 2021, in consultation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), organised an online experts meeting on "Combating anti-Semitism in the OSCE region" on 1st and 2nd February 2021, with 47 OSCE countries representatives, civil society actors and Jewish communities representatives.