European Commission launches the High Level Group on combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance

Today, the European Commission launched the High Level Group on combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance to step up cooperation and coordination, to better prevent and combat hate crime and hate speech on the ground. Opening the first meeting of the High Level Group, Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender said, “Over recent years, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance have been growing and spreading across Europe at a toxic speed. For the first time today, all actors are sitting around the same table. We will use this High Level Group as a platform to discuss concrete ways to prevent and counter hate speech and hate crime.” It will bring together Member States authorities, the European Parliament, civil society organisations, community representatives, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The High Level Group will help maximise synergies between all stakeholders and develop common targeted responses to tackle effectively all forms of racism and intolerance. It will set up a common methodology to record and collect hate crimes data. It will also monitor the implementation of the Code of Conduct presented by the Commission two weeks ago and signed by IT companies to ensure that illegal hate speech online can be effectively countered. The Commission is also launching a one-stop-shop websitetoday, which will provide easy access to information about current EU funding, projects and initiatives promoting tolerance, combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination. For more information see Věra Jourová’s speech opening the High Level Group and a Q&A on the Code of Conduct .