International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Commission holds Anti-racism Summit

President von der Leyen, Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Dalli are participating today in the EU’s first Anti-racism Summit. Organised by the Commission and co-hosted by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and ARDI Intergroup of the European Parliament ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March, the Summit is one of the key actions set out in the EU anti-racism action plan presented in September 2020.  The Summit will gather representatives from EU institutions, national governments, civil society, equality bodies and grassroots organisations, who will discuss the implementation of the Action Plan and best ways forward to tackle racism in Europe. Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this Sunday, President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We need to keep talking about racism. And send a strong message across our Union: there is no place for discrimination in Europe – whether based on race, ethnic origin or religion. The International Day against Racial Discrimination must be an occasion to think critically about our shortcomings, but also to focus on how we cherish diversity, and how people of different backgrounds contribute to our daily life. Now more than ever, unity requires that we reject racism and embrace our differences.” Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová said: “We need to talk about racism. Last year we presented an ambitious Action Plan to tackle racism in Europe. The Summit gives an opportunity to talk about racism and see how we can turn the tide. It won’t be easy, but it must be done. We are going to work harder on this.” Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said: “We are constantly reminded of how urgently we need action to combat racist and xenophobic discrimination in Europe. Structural racism continues to persist. We must start from ourselves first and bring the necessary change.” The European Commission has today also published a report on the application of the Racial Equality and the Employment Equality Directives. The report shows that while there are many good practices in the fight against discrimination across Europe, overall progress is slow and challenges remain. Almost one in four people from an ethnic minority in the EU feel discriminated against. More needs to be done to ensure victims of discrimination are aware of their rights, are supported in pursuing those rights and receive adequate compensation for the harm done. The role of equality bodies is key, and the Commission will assess whether to propose new legislation to strengthen their role by 2022. As equality and non-discrimination applies to our work both internally and externally, the European Commission launched its own survey on inclusion and diversity at the workplace. The EU anti-racism action plan sets out many measures to promote an inclusive workplace for all Commission staff, including outreach efforts to attract more diverse candidates to our selection tests. More details about the Summit can be found online here . High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell issued a declaration on behalf of the EU on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is available here