Agency for Fundamental Rights Annual Report

August 13, 2013

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Annual Report has set out a stark picture of the challenges faced by Black and minority ethnic communities in Europe.

 

Its review of racism and ethnic discrimination finds that crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and related intolerances, the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse and ethnic discrimination in healthcare, education, employment and housing persist throughout the European Union (EU). Roma populations in particular continue to face discrimination, as evidence collected by FRA and other bodies demonstrates. EU Member States made efforts to develop comprehensive approaches to Roma integration. Nevertheless, more still needs to be done when it comes to securing sufficient funding for Roma inclusion and ensuring that it benefits targeted groups, putting robust and effective monitoring mechanisms in place, and fighting discrimination and segregation, the European Commission concluded in its assessment of National Roma Integration Strategies.

 

The main findings within the FRA annual report are:

  • A number of EU Member States address crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and related intolerances, by redefining what constitutes such crimes, and changing and enhancing their data collection systems.

  • Increases in recorded crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and related intolerances are observed in 11 EU Member States that publish data on these crimes, with decreases observed in another six Member States.

  • Elements of extremist ideology increasingly join mainstream political and public discourse in EU Member States.

  • Several EU Member States begin implementing policies at the national level to improve Roma integration, but the overall situation of Roma remains critical with respect to discrimination in healthcare, housing, education and employment.

  • Members of ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees and irregular migrants continue to face discrimination and inequalities in healthcare, housing, education and employment across the EU, as exemplified by spatial segregation, discriminatory advertisements and differential treatment in access to services. 

  • A number of EU Member States take steps to enable the collection of data disaggregated by ethnicity, thereby allowing for better recording and identification of potentially discriminatory practices. 

 

The report also identifies that racist and xenophobic atti­tudes in EU Member States are becoming less associated with biological traits or ‘traditional’ supremacist considerations and are instead growing increasingly dominated by cultural considerations and intolerance of difference, as manifested, for example, in the expression of anti‑Roma, antisemitic, anti‑Muslim or anti‑migrant feelings.  In these cases, racist and xenophobic attitudes reflect perceptions that Roma, Jewish people, Muslims or migrants are incapable of, or unwilling to integrate into society and that they represent a threat to society.

 

The FRA report notes that “the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in the public sphere is evidenced across EU Member States.” 

 

As CRER has highlighted in other articles, campaigns stereotyping the black community and crime and the current war of words between politicians about who is tougher on immigration are all in danger of damaging community relations, scapegoating immigrants and providing a veneer of acceptability for views normally consigned to the extreme right. 

 

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is one of the EU’s specialised agencies. These agencies are set up to provide expert advice to the institutions of the EU and the Member States on a range of issues. FRA helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.

 

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The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is one of the EU’s specialised agencies. These agencies are set up to provide expert advice to the institutions of the EU and the Member States on a range of issues. FRA helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.

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