With hate speech and hate crime against Jewish and Muslim communities on the increase, the EU called Wednesday on Europeans to stand up against hatred and speak up for tolerance and respect.

In its Communication “No place for hate: a Europe united against hatred”, the Commission and the EU’s foreign policy chief announced a stepping up of efforts to fight hatred in all its forms, by reinforcing action across a variety of policies, including security, digital, education, culture and sport. This will include additional funding to protect places of worship and will be backed up by the designation of Envoys with an explicit mandate to maximise the potential of EU policies to combat hatred.

“The EU cannot remain passive,” said EC vice-president Vera Jourova: “Silence leaves space for hatred to grow. Therefore, we act to fill this gap, to be loud and clear that we stand up for our values and for human rights. We step our actions against violence both online and offline.”

The Commission will bring a call for proposals under the ‘Internal Security Fund’, initially scheduled for 2024, forward to 2023, putting particular focus on Jewish places of worship, with an increased budget. The PROTECT programme will be strengthened in 2024 with additional funding for the protection of public spaces and places of worship of all faiths, including an increase of €5 million to address the threats posed from rising antisemitism.

To protect against threats online, the Commission will push to finalise a reinforced Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online before February 2024 to build on the new horizontal obligations for online platforms in the Digital Services Act. It will also reinforce its cooperation with civil society organisations, experts, trusted flaggers, and public authorities to detect hate speech online.

The Commission will also support trainings for journalists on upholding media standards and recognising hate speech and take forward projects aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity in education, culture and sport. The European Union will also step up support to ‘fact checkers’, within the EU and in the Arab speaking world.

Source: EUbusiness

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