Wednesday 10/28/20
COMMISSION

EU executive launches anti-racism action plan

The commission would also, it said, try to improve diversity in its own institution.

HANDOUT - 18 September 2020, Belgium, Brussels: European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova speaks during a press conference with European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli (Not Pictured) on the EU anti-racism Action Plan at EU headquarters. Photo: Dati Bendo/European Commission.
European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova speaks during a press conference. Photo: Dati Bendo/EU Commission.

The European Commission launched an anti-racism action plan on Friday to step up its efforts to combat racism in the European Union - including on its own premises.

The commission said it would attempt to tackle coordination between countries, awareness-raising and enforcement of law that protects people from being discriminated against.

"Progress to fight racism and hate in Europe is not good enough... But we hope with time, and more effort, we can change the tide in Europe," EU Values Commissioner Vera Jourova said at a press conference.

"This is the goal of the new Action Plan and we will not hesitate to act, including by strengthening our legislation and by vigorously enforcing the rules."

This follows commission President Ursula von der Leyen's announcement on Wednesday that she would set up a new coordinator for anti-racism. The commission would also organize an anti-racism summit next year.

Improve diversity

A renewed wave of worldwide protests has broken out earlier this year following the recent deaths of several black people, including George Floyd, in the US at the hands of the police.

The commission would also, it said, try to improve diversity in its own institution.

"Diversity in the commission is not good enough. Diversity in the European Union institutions is not good enough," Jourova said.

The European Network Against Racism welcomed the initiative.

“This is a groundbreaking moment for racial equality and justice, and has significant potential to achieve positive change for racialised people in Europe”, Karen Taylor, chair of the network, said.

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