A more inclusive and protective Europe: extending the list of EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 777
Publication Date 09/12/2021
Content Type , ,


Communication published by the European Commission on 9 December 2021, aimed at extending the list of EU crimes to include hate speech and hate crime.

Further information:

The intention to put forward a proposal to extend the list of EU crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech was first announced by the President of the European Commission in her State of the European Union (SOTEU) address in 2020.

This Communication sets out evidence for extending the list in light of the criteria laid down in Article 83(1) TFEU. It highlights the cross-border dimension of hate speech and hate crime, as well as the intrinsic special feature shared by them, i.e. hatred against persons with the same protected characteristics. Hate speech and hate crime are seen as undermining the common values of the European Union (EU) and its fundamental rights. A steady increase was registered in the two phenomena due to various economic, social and technological changes and developments. Even so, they have been criminalised to a varying degree in the EU Member States, and only the extension of the list of EU crimes can enable an effective and comprehensive criminal law approach at EU level, along with a consistent protection of the victims of such acts.

The Council of the European Union needs to unanimously adopt, following consent from the European Parliament, a Decision identifying hate speech and hate crime as another area of crime that meets the criteria set out in Article 83(1) TFEU. Only then is the European Commission in a position to table a legislative proposal establishing minimum rules on the definitions and sanctions of hate speech and hate crime.

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=COM:2021:777:FIN
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
ILGA Europe: News, 09/12/2021: Commission includes LGBTI people in initiative to tackle hate crime and hate speech across the European Union https://www.ilga-europe.org/resources/news/latest-news/commission-includes-lgbti-people-initiative-tackle-hate-crime-and-hate
The Wall Street Journal, 04/02/2022: Will Banning Hate Speech Make Europe Safer? https://www.wsj.com/articles/will-banning-hate-speech-make-europe-safer-11643985138

EUObserver, 10/12/2021: EU tables hate-crime rules to protect women https://euobserver.com/democracy/153783
The Irish Times, 09/03/2022: Government backs EU initiative to add hate crime to offences list https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/government-backs-eu-initiative-to-add-hate-crime-to-offences-list-1.4821796

European Commission: Policies: Extending EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/combatting-discrimination/racism-and-xenophobia/extending-eu-crimes-hate-speech-and-hate-crime_en
European Commission: Press Release, 09/12/2021: The Commission proposes to extend the list of ‘EU crimes' to hate speech and hate crime https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6561

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