In response to offensive anti-Semitic and homophobic displays at carnival parades in the EU, the Socialists and Democrats called on EU leaders to unblock the anti-discrimination Directive in a bid to ensure that all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and hate-speech are a crime.
In a letter from the S&D Group leader, the European Council President Michel and Commission President von der Leyen are asked to remind EU member states of their responsibilities under EU law to fight stereotypes and hate-speech and make certain offensive actions a crime where they may not already be.
Iratxe Garcia, S&D Group president said:
“This week; I wrote to the Commission and Council leaders to express deep concerns regarding a number of recent carnival parades in the EU. In these parades, we have seen intolerable anti-Semitic caricatures, unacceptable Holocaust-themed parades and a shocking display of homophobia where a figure of a same-sex couple was burned on the streets.
“For several years now, the Council has been blocking the much needed horizontal antidiscrimination Directive outside the place of work. We shouldn’t need to remind national authorities or the EU that the fight against stereotypes and hate-speech should be a priority. However, when offensive public displays like this are allowed to go ahead without consequence, we have no choice but to call on EU governments to unblock the negotiations on this essential legislation.
“Carnivals have a long tradition of satire in Europe, but freedom of expression and traditions must never become a vehicle to promote or excuse racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia or hate-speech.”