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JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS : RACIST VIOLENCE ON RISE, WARNS EU RIGHTS AGENCY.

Discrimination against ethnic minorities is still widespread across Europe, racist crime is on the increase, and the member states do not make good use of the anti-discrimination tools that the EU's legislation offers. These are the conclusions of the first annual report of the new EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), unveiled on 24 June.

The FRA calls on EU member states to address discrimination effectively. "We must guarantee that equal rights and protection from discrimination and racism are a right in practice and not just on paper," said Anastasia Crickley, the chair of the FRA Management Board, pointing out that the EU has still some way to go to make the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43) work. The report recalls the June 2007 decision of the European Commission to formally request the full implementation of the Racial Equality Directive in as many as 14 member states.

It also underlines the disparity between EU members in the application and severity of sanctions, as they are one of the indicators of the effectiveness of an anti-discrimination system. According to the FRA, no sanctions at all were applied in 12 member states in the period of 2006-2007, while in the United Kingdom alone, 95 sanctions were placed. That is more than in all other 26 member states combined. The agency also criticises the complete absence of equality bodies in the Czech Republic,Luxembourg and Spain.

The FRA will in future cover all kinds of discrimination. However, the first report concerns only racism, as the FRA has, until the adoption of its first multiannual framework this February, carried out the tasks of its predecessor, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).

The FRA report is available at www.europolitics.info > Search > 228947

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Publication:European Report
Date:Jun 25, 2008
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