Summary: March 31, 2004: EU anti-racism body publishes antisemitism reports (Brussels)
The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), an agency of the European Union (EU), launched two major reports on antisemitism today, 31 March, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The main report, "Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU 2002 - 2003" (344 pages) details manifestations of antisemitism in the EU over a two-year period from 2002-2003 using data available mainly by October 2003 and proposes policies to counter it. The second report, "Perceptions of
Antisemitism in the European Union" (48 pages) provides snapshot interviews with members of the Jewish community.
The main report shows that there has been an increase in antisemitic incidents in five EU countries, (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK). These incidents ranged from hate mail to arson. In some other countries there has been little evidence of increase in antisemitism. "These reports are a clear indication of the seriousness with which the European Union takes the subject of antisemitism and of our determination to tackle it", said Beate Winkler, Director of the EUMC.
Although it is not easy to generalise, the largest group of the perpetrators of antisemitic activities appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans. A further source of antisemitism in some countries was young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction. Traditionally antisemitic groups on the extreme right played a part in stirring opinion.
The report also shows that there is a tremendous variety between Member States in their practices on the monitoring and collection of data on antisemitic incidents. In some EU countries there are relatively well-established official or semi-official monitoring structures, which produce year-by-year reasonably reliable statistics on antisemitic incidents and others not at all.
This is the largest report ever done on antisemitism in Europe and is based on data collected by the EUMC's European information network, RAXEN. RAXEN consists of 15 offices in each member state, staffed by experts. Data was collected according to common guidelines set down by EUMC and was validated by an independent academic.
The second report - interviews with the members of the Jewish community - reveals that they perceive a more hostile environment in Europe. Most Jewish people wish to be a recognized equal part of European societies and to live in good relationships with their neighbours.