Maud Swinnen
European Jewish Prerss
December 6, 2008

“Racism and xenophobia have no place in Europe. Nor should it in any other part of the world. Dialogue and understanding should overcome hatred and provocation,” said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Barrot, who is in charge of justice, freedom and security within the EU executive body, welcomed the recent adoption by the EU Council of Justice and Interior Ministers of the so-called ‘Framework Decision’ on combating racism and xenophobia, seven years after it had first been presented by the European Commission.

“I warmly welcome the introduction of severe and effective sanctions against racism and xenophobia that are direct violations of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, principles upon which the European Union is founded and which are common to the Member State,” Barrot stated.

The Framework Decision is considered as an important tool for sanctioning on the EU level racist and xenophobic crimes.

EU member states will have two years to introduce severe and effective sanctions of at least between 1 and 3 years of imprisonment against those who intentionally publicly incite to violence or hatred by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against persons defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

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