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EU Commission’s strategies to tackle down racism as “change must happen now”

In a move to tackle global crime at police violence against African Americans in the United States, after the miserable May 25 brutal murder of black American George Floyd in police custody, weeks of protests in the United States against racism and police brutality have emerged and prompted more European citizens to challenge discrimination in society.

While Europe is trying to take a step further against racial inequality, the European Commission promised on Friday to take severer action against member states that fail to fully implement EU anti-racism laws.

Vera Jourova, European commissioner for transparency and values and Helena Dalli, commissioner for equality present the bloc's action plan to counter racism in the EU, during a news conference in Brussels, Belgium. Image credit Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

“We know that progress to fight racism and hate in Europe is not good enough,” Vera Jourova, the EU Commission’s vice-president for values and transparency, declared in Brussels. “The protests sent a clear message – change must happen now.”

It is a “moment of reckoning” for Europeans, where racism can no longer be ignored, she added.

Indeed, launching its first anti-racism action plan, the Commission announced that the initiative allows so-called infringement actions, a process that can involve the Commission taking an offending country to the EU Court of Justice.

Under the new drafted plan, the 27 EU members would face closer scrutiny, investigations and possible infringement procedures if the European measures are not correctly followed.

The Commission has also called for a “new approach on equality data collection” to get a better understating of discrimination in Europe and to push the bloc to collect data about racial or ethnic origin, in a move to better comprehend how to tackle the problem of racial discrimination among the continent.

European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli speaks at a media conference on the EU anti-racism Action Plan at EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Image credit Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

The EU Commission also plans to review its existing rules to guarantee they are firm enough, and possibly present new legal measures in the next five years.

Nonetheless, this move comes after that some EU institutions, including the Commission and European Central Bank, have themselves come under fire from critics for being excessively white and sometimes racist.

Indeed, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated at the European Parliament in June that she was aware of the lack of black staff and commissioners in the bloc’s executive.


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