The European Council on Friday adopted its conclusions on combating racism and antisemitism, including treating antisemitism as a separate phenomenon from all types of racism by creating a separate resolution with guidelines toward the treatment of antisemitism in all EU countries.
The declaration makes the fight against antisemitism a priority of Europe’s executive branch and comes after years of the World Jewish Congress working with the leadership of the European Union on codifying measures to fight antisemitism at the European, member state and local levels.
The conclusions were released by the council under France’s presidency – a six-month rotating position it assumed at the beginning of this year.
The European Council is composed of the heads of state or government of the EU member states, as well as the council’s president and the president of the European Commission.
“The fight against racism and antisemitism is one of the political priorities of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union as stated by the President of the French Republic on December 9, 2021,” the official European Council document states.
The EC will urge social media companies to remove content with antisemitic rhetoric, strengthen security at Jewish institutions and adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
“With rising antisemitism and hatred across Europe, we thank France’s leadership for the European Council’s adoption of the conclusions,” WJC executive vice president Maram Stern told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
This is a strong demonstration of the French and EU commitment to combating antisemitism, as well as recognition that antisemitism remains a serious threat.
“We echo the calls by our French affiliate, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, and their president and WJC vice president Francis Kalifat, for France and the other member states to develop a separate national strategy focused on combating antisemitism,” Stern said. “Doing so would be an essential acknowledgment that antisemitism is a distinct form of hatred and a necessary step to eradicating this evil.”