EU reaffirms support to Jewish communities needs in Bucharest summit

The representatives of over 30 governments and 50 Jewish communities gathered in the Romanian city for the meeting.

June 18, 2019 23:23
2 minute read.
Romanian Prime Minister and EU Council President Viorica Dăncilă

Romanian Prime Minister and EU Council President Viorica Dăncilă . (photo credit: SHAHAR AZRAN / WJC)


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The Council of the European Union reaffirmed its commitment to contributing and supporting initiatives directed at tackling the challenges facing Jewish communities, in a special summit held in Bucharest on Tuesday.

The representatives of over 30 governments and 50 Jewish communities gathered in the Romanian capital for the meeting, which was organized by World Jewish Congress, Romanian Prime Minister and EU Council President Viorica Dăncilă, and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania.

The final EU presidency declaration identified four relevant areas of commitment: Jewish communities’ security, hate crime data collection, Holocaust Remembrance, and the promotion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.

Among the examples of antisemitic attitudes mentioned in IHRA definition are accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nations and denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination “e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” Its adoption by governments and institutions is considered especially significant to tackle antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism.

Relevant participants to the summit included US Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism Elan Carr, Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Antisemitism Felix Klein, European Commission Coordinator for Combating Antisemitism Katharina von Schnurbein and WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.

“During its rotational presidency, the Romanian government has set as an essential objective the promotion of the effective fight against racism, intolerance, xenophobia, populism, antisemitism and discouraging discourse of hate,” Romanian PM Dăncilă said according to a statement released on Tuesday.

“This was an historic event that brought together special envoys, heads of international organizations, and the World Jewish Congress network of Jewish communities from around the world to discuss the challenges facing Jewish communities openly and honestly,” WJC CEO Singer noted, addressing the participants.

“The significance of such a conference cannot be understated. We have now met, and gotten to know each other, and see that we share the same values and the same commitments. We know that your governments care about these challenges. Let us always remember, it is less important who stands against you. What is important is who stands with you,” he added.

The two-day meeting in Bucharest coincided with the WJC’s 6th National Community Directors’ Forum, an annual gathering of the top professionals of the WJC’s affiliated communities worldwide.

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