Fewer anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Europe in 2011, a European Union agency said on Monday, but it added that the data it relied on was unreliable, making it impossible to draw any conclusions from its findings.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said methods by which the 27 member states counted such incidents varied greatly, and were flawed to the point that the information was virtually useless or did not exist.

“This report has shown that no clear-cut conclusions can be drawn on the situation of anti-Semitism in the EU on the basis of the data that are currently available from member states,” the report said. “While decreases in the number of recorded incidents are observed in most member states that collect data, this should not be taken to mean that there has been a corresponding decline in the manifestation of anti- Semitism in the EU.”

It said, for instance, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia did not distinguish between anti-Semitic incidents and other xenophobic acts, while Bulgaria did not count hate crimes against Jews at all.

On the other hand, it commended a “small minority” of states – namely, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, Belgium – for collecting accurate data. Most of those countries showed a significant drop in verbal and physical violence against Jewish citizens in the past year; still, FRA said in its report it was unable to draw a conclusion from the statistics.

“The conclusions can be drawn per country but it cannot be generalized to all EU states,” said Blanca Tacia, spokesperson of the agency.

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