February 11, 2008
ENAR has issued a Memorandum putting forward a seven-point call for action for the Slovenian Presidency to act upon when implementing its priorities in the fields of anti-discrimination and anti-racism. It calls on the Presidency to put the fight against racism at the heart of its commitments.
ENAR in particular believes that the following actions should be part of the Presidency’s priorities for the next six months:
- Holding member states to their commitments to formalise the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia as a crime without further delay
- Ensuring a full fundamental rights impact assessment of all proposals concerning migration, integration and asylum;
- Ensuring that the legislative proposal on implementing the principle of equal treatment beyond employment will be taken forward building on existing levels of protection and addressing gaps in the current anti-discrimination framework;
- Ensuring that social inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities is given a high priority in the social agenda, especially the review of theLisbon strategy;
- Ensuring that the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue is closely linked to broad anti-racist strategies with close cooperation with civil society.
Racism remains a persistent and evolving problem across the European Union despite recent efforts and an evolving anti-discrimination framework. Building on the momentum laid down by the Berlin declaration, which stated that “Racism and xenophobia must never again be given any rein”, there is a concrete opportunity for the Slovenian Presidency to ensure that the progress made does not lead to complacency; racism, discrimination and social exclusion are realities that undermine the enjoyment of the fundamental rights of everyone.European Network Against Racism