Fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance are becoming increasingly normalised in the EU, according to the European Parliament, with a “xenophobic surge” arising from a “lack of serious action against neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups”.
MEPs are so concerned that they have adopted a resolution condemning “the terrorist attacks, murders, psychological violence, violent physical attacks and marches by neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations that have taken place in various EU member states”.
This includes attacks against politicians and members of political parties, the resolution says. It cites “in particular the recent attack by CasaPound fascist squads against Eleonora Forenza, MEP, her assistant Antonio Perillo and others who took part in an anti-fascist demonstration on 21 September 2018 in Bari, Italy”.
Forenza was one of seven MEPs who proposed a joint motion for the resolution, which was adopted by 355 votes for to 90 against on 25 October. She said it was “of huge importance that the resolution urges member states to effectively ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and foundations”.
However, the resolution also expresses concern about “reports in some [EU] member states of collusion between political leaders, political parties and law enforcement with neo-fascists and neo-Nazis”. It says that fascism and intolerance are “always associated with an attack on democracy itself”.
MEPs called on EU countries to strongly condemn and sanction – and take measures to prevent – hate crime and hate speech. They called for police units to be set up to tackle hate crimes, and on the European Commission to support the monitoring and reporting of hate speech. They also demanded new EU legislation against discrimination.
Words: Craig Nicholson
Photo: Henry Be