In a resolution adopted on Monday by 21 votes in favour, 3 against and 4 abstentions, MEPs call on EU countries to take measures to address the structural roots of racism and discrimination in the EU. They also call on the member states to agree on the “Anti-discrimination” directive that has been blocked in the Council since 2008.
Education curricula should be revised to provide a contextualised approach to European history and contribute to eradicating stereotypes that lead to discrimination, MEPs say, adding that the history of European racial and ethnic communities should be included in relevant studies. Authors, historians, scientists, artists and other figures from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds should be included in key educational materials, MEPs say.
They ask for the racial and ethnic segregation that still exists in some EU countries’ schools to be eliminated and call for teaching staff from racial and ethnic minority groups to have equal access to teaching jobs.
EU funding should be directed to initiatives fostering a more diverse cultural sector, MEPs ask, adding that member states should introduce lifelong learning programmes for civil servants and state security forces to eliminate racist and xenophobic behaviour.
MEPs call on the media to stop spreading stigmatising narratives that dehumanise members of particular ethnic or racial groups, e.g. disproportionately covering crimes committed by migrants. They also call for programmes that aim to broaden media professionals’ knowledge on diversity and inclusiveness.
National audiovisual regulators should be provided with the power to sanction programmes that promote racist content, they propose. They also want to stop EU and state funding for media outlets that are promoting hate speech and xenophobia.
MEPs want the Commission to develop recommendations to combat racism in sportat local, regional, national and European levels and foster inclusion and respect. They also urge the Commission, member states and sports federations to adopt measures to support victims of hate crimes in sports.
“Today we have taken a clear stance and made strong demands to the Commission and the member states, by asking them to address the structural nature and roots of racism and tackle it in a holistic and intersectional way. Our behaviour is shaped by the education we receive, the culture we enjoy, the information we consume, as well as by the values that sports convey to us. We need to leverage their power to pursue the EU values of tolerance, equity and solidarity, and engage with active anti-racism”, said the rapporteur Salima Yenbou (Greens/EFA, FR) after the vote.
According to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 45% of people of North African descent, 41% of Roma and 39% of people of Sub-Saharan African descent face discrimination based on their ethnic or immigration background.
According to the 2019 Eurobarometer, over half of Europeans believe that racial discrimination is widespread in their country, with “Being Roma” (61% of respondents), “Ethnic origin” (59%) and “Skin colour” (59%) being the top three grounds for discrimination identified by citizens.