BRUSSELS—European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels for their last summit under Austrian presidency.
Besides the’’usual’’ topics including Brexit, budget, immigration, terrorism, the single market, their official agenda also includes the fight against racism and xenophobia.
In its conclusions, the European Council will welcome the unanimous adoption on 6 December 2018 of an EU declaration on the fight against antisemitism. This declaration, the first of its kind, invites the 28 Member States and theEuropean Commission to develo a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in Europe ‘’which is an important signal showing that the EU and each of its Member States stand side by side with the Jewish community to guarantee their safety and well-being.’’
Member States are called to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism as a guidance tool.
The declaration was initiated by Austria whose Chancellor Sebestian Kurz is expected to address the fight against antisemitism in the final summit press conference on Friday.
The EU summit comes days after the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) together with the European Commission and the Austrian presidency released the results of a survey on the experiences and perceptions of European Jews on antisemitism. The survey, which was conducted among 16,300 Jews in 12 countries, reopresenttng 96% of the Jewish population in Europe, revealed worrying trends :
The results of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s latest survey on Antisemitism are particularly worrying: 85% of European Jews consider Antisemitism to be the biggest social or political problem in their home country. Other figures, amongst others, show that Antisemitism is pervasive and is having an impact on the daily lives of European Jews throughout the EU:
89% of Jews surveyed said that anti-Semitism in the EU had risen significantly during the last five years ;
89% of Jews think Antisemitism is most problematic on the internet and on social media;
28% of respondents have been harassed at least once in the past year;
79% of Jews who experienced antisemitic harassment in the past five years did not report this to the police or another organisation;
34% avoid visiting Jewish events or sites because they do not feel safe;
38% have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews in Europe;
70% consider that efforts by Member States to combat Antisemitism are not effective.