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ERIO news and activities

* ERIO invites you to join the European Roma Media Network
* The European Legal Framework on Hate Speech, Blasphemy
Hate speech and hate crime incidents, including those committed online, are on the rise in Europe, despite the existence of a robust legal framework. This resume provides an overview of the legal framework applicable to hate speech and hate crime, as well as to blasphemy and religious insult. It also evaluates the effectiveness of existing legislation in selected Member States and explores opportunities to strengthen the current EU legal framework; whilst fully respecting the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Legal framework on hate speech and hate crime
At the EU level the legal framework includes inter alia: Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA (CFD), (which requires Member States to penalise the most severe forms of hate speech and hate crime.  The other components of the legal framework are the Audiovisual Media Services (AMSD) and Electronic Commerce Directives (ECD) that deal with controlling racist and xenophobic behaviours in the media and over the internet. It is important to view the EU measures aimed at addressing racism and xenophobia in the context of the broader EU legislative framework. Instruments aimed at supporting victims of crime and antidiscrimination measures are of particular relevance in this respect. These include Directive 2012/29/EU (Victims’ Support Directive) and the EU’s equality and anti-discrimination legislation (e.g. Directive 2000/43/EC (the Racial Equality Directive)). The Racial Equality Directive is complemented by other antidiscrimination legislative instruments such as Directive 2000/78/EC (the Employment Equality Directive) and Directives 2004/113/EC and 2006/54/EC (the Equal Treatment Directives). The EU also provides its support in practice by financing projects aimed inter alia at fighting hate speech and hate crime. Examples of these projects are the ones under the Europe for Citizens Programme 2014-2020 or the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020.

The current study, developed on the basis of information gathered from seven national studies (Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden), has revealed some major drawbacks of the current legal framework applicable to hate speech and hate crime:
Shortcomings related to the transposition of the CFD include its incomplete transposition. Gaps in transposition mainly arise in connection with Article 1(1) (c) and 1(1) (d) of the CFD requiring the penalisation of the condoning, denial or gross trivialisation of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and of Nazi crimes, respectively. To ensure effective protection against the most severe forms of hate speech and hate crime, it is recommended that the European Commission (EC) initiates infringement proceedings against Member States failing to transpose the CFD. Another issue derives from the transposition of the protected characteristics, which are the grounds upon which hate speech and hate crime are prohibited), they are set out in the CFD, the AMSD and the ECD. As a general rule, Member States’ legislation refers to characteristics beyond those required by the CFD, the AMSD and the ECD. Member States have not taken a harmonised approach in this respect, thus the list of protected characteristics varies from one Member State to another. Therefore an ambitious review of existing EU law might be necessary.

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OTHER news

* 2015 European Year of Development
* Zazzle responds about anti-Gypsyist T-shirt


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* 'Gypsy' No More: Romani Music Festival Combats Stereotypes

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* Bulgarian NGOs get injunction suspending demolition of Roma homes in Peshtera


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* EU Ban on Balkan Asylum Seekers Alarms Roma


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* 2014 Annual Report on Discrimination against Roma


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* ERIO’s Training “Advocacy for Roma inclusion” INVITATION
Brussels, 10-11 December 2015

The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) invites you to attend a training on advocacy skills which will be held on the 10 and 11 December from 9:30-15:30 at the Maison Notre Dame Du Chant d'Oiseau, Centre de Formation, Avenue des Franciscains 3a, 1150 Brussels.
The training is for Roma activists and it aims to:
- Improve the advocacy skills of Roma to enable them to be involved in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) as well as in anti-discrimination and social inclusion policies at European, national and local level;
- Inform Roma organisations and representatives about the different types of EU funds, how to apply and how to effectively use them for the successful integration of Roma;
- Inform about relevant EU developments such as the EU Framework, the NRIS and the Council recommendation in order to be exploited within advocacy activities.

The training will be in English.

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Places are limited. Please confirm participation as soon as possible, latest by 08 December 2015.
Register by email/phone by sending your name, surname, title and the organisation you represent to:
Tel: +32 (2) 733 3462
Join the The European Roma Media Network!

The European Roma Media Network was an outcome of ERIO’s conference “Media: a key tool to fight hate speech and anti-Gypsyism” organised on 23 June 2015 in Brussels. The ultimate goal of this informal Network is to join efforts to invert the role of the media as a tool to fight anti-Roma sentiments and anti-Gypsyism. The media has a crucial role in combating racism and stereotypes about the Roma. This can be achieved with an ethical and critical journalism which aims to raise awareness and provide a greater understanding regarding Roma issues.
The role of the Network is to provide an online platform for different stakeholders to exchange information and ideas about good practices and to discuss possible challenges and opportunities in tackling negative stereotypes and hate speech in the media. A parallel objective of the Network is to monitor and react to hate speech and negative portrayal of Roma in the media and address the responsible authorities.Who can join? Members of the Network should be journalists (Roma and non-Roma), media experts or NGOs working on media.

Want to apply for membership?
To apply for membership please fill in this registration form and send it to office@erionet.eu
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