Parliament is concerned by the increasing normalisation of fascism, racism and xenophobia and calls on EU member states to ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups.
In a resolution passed with 355 votes to 90 and 39 abstentions, MEPs denounce that the lack of serious action against these groups has enabled the current xenophobic surge in Europe. The text mentions the attack that killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, the murder of UK MP Jo Cox in 2016 and the recent attack by fascist squads in Italy against MEP Eleonora Forenza.
It also refers to several incidents involving fascists in Poland, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Latvia and the Nordic countries.
Ban all organisations glorifying fascism
MEPs argue that the impunity enjoyed by far-right organisations in some member states is one of the reasons behind the rise in violent actions, affecting society as a whole and targeting particular minorities such as black Europeans/people of African descent, Jews, Muslims, Roma, non-EU nationals, LGBTI people, and persons with disabilities.
They propose setting up anti-hate crime units in police forces to ensure these crimes are investigated and prosecuted. They also urge national authorities to “effectively ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and any other foundation or association that exalts and glorifies Nazism and fascism”.
End collusion with neo-fascists
Troubled by reports of collusion between political leaders, political parties and law enforcement with neo-fascists and neo-Nazis in some member states, Parliament calls on the member states to “clearly condemn and sanction” hate crime, hate speech and scapegoating by politicians and public officials, as they directly normalise and reinforce hatred and violence.
Measures are also necessary to counteract the spread of racism, fascism and xenophobia through the internet, in cooperation with social media companies.
Stop racism in sport and help members of fascist groups who want to leave
The resolution demands that member states and national sports federations, in particular football clubs, counteract the scourge of racism, fascism and xenophobia in stadiums and in sports culture by condemning and punishing those responsible and by promoting positive educational activities targeting young fans, in cooperation with schools and civil society organisations .
EU countries should also set up “exit programmes” to help individuals to leave violent neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups. MEPs stress the importance of education, to increase history awareness among the youth and call for a clear rejection of the fascist crimes of the past. They underline that the truth about the Holocaust must not be trivialised.
“Over the last 10 years, there has been a large increase in the number of attacks from extreme nationalists in Europe. They have occurred across many different European countries, ranging from intimidation of minorities and LGBTI people, to the murder of UK Labour MP Jo Cox or the horrors of the Utøya massacre in Norway. These are just a few examples and today we honour all victims of neo-fascist violence and say that enough is enough,” said S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann.
”Finally, the European Parliament is standing up against the growing hate in Europe. Neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups advocate for the use of violence and spread hate against ethnic and religious minorities, migrants, LGBTI-people, feminists and political opponents. These organizations are not acceptable in a democratic society. Everyone should have the right to participate and feel safe in a today’s Europe. Our history has showed us what these kind of organizations are capable of – we cannot let this happen again. EU member states must act and ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups that incite violence against others. This is vital to safeguard the EU’s democratic values,” said Soraya Post, who is the S&D Group MEP responsible for the resolution.
“We are also seeing increasingly vitriolic and hate filled language coming from far-right politicians and news outlets. They attempt to push the boundaries of what is acceptable further and further, then plead innocence when their words inspire violent actions from their supporters. We must work together to end this climate of hostility and hate,” she added.