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Data collection lack of progress impedes antisemitism fight

December 20th 2016

In the latest annual overview of EU antisemitism data from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Agency points to the lack of progress on data collection. This continues to hinder efforts to combat antisemitism, as such data underpin targeted responses.

This latest report, Antisemitism: Summary overview of data available in the European Union 2005–2015, reveals large gaps in data collection on antisemitism in EU Member States, as previous overviews also noted. In addition, each Member State collects different types of data, preventing any meaningful comparison of the data collected.

Nevertheless, where comprehensive data exist, they show that antisemitism remains a serious concern which demands decisive and targeted policy responses. This would not only better protect Jewish communities against antisemitism, but would also send a clear signal that across the EU the fundamental rights of all people are protected and safeguarded.

Greater efforts need to be made to counter underreporting. Not only do victims and witnesses need to be encouraged to report antisemitic incidents, but the authorities need to have systems in place that would record such incidents.

Continued and sustained efforts at the national, European and international levels, as well as at the level of civil society, are needed to improve data collection on hate crime, including antisemitism. However, steps in the right direction are being made. These include the European Commission’s appointment of an EU antisemitism coordinator in December 2015, alongside the Agency’s work under the EU’s High Level Group on racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance chairing a subgroup on methodologies on recording and collecting data on hate crime.

National victimisation surveys, similar to the one the Agency carried out among Jews in the EU, can also help Member States gauge antisemitism and how well they are doing combating it.

Taken together such evidence can paint a more complete and accurate picture of antisemitism. This is turn should allow Member States progress in their longstanding fight against antisemitism.

The updated report compiles available data on antisemitic incidents collected by international, governmental and non-governmental sources, from 1 January 2005 until 31 December 2015. No official data on reported antisemitic incidents in 2015 were available for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia by the time this report was compiled.

Further details on the FRA website.