14th February 2013: Andrew Brons has received a Written Answer from the European Commission to his question E-011372/2012 on the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
"I refer to the draft Council decision establishing a Multiannual Framework for 2013-2017 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
"The Commission has proposed the following thematic area: ‘Racism, xenophobia and related intolerance’.
"Will the Commission kindly provide its full definition of both ‘racism’ and ‘xenophobia’?"
This was the answer given, on behalf of the Commission, by Viviane Reding Vice-president and commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship.
"According to the founding Regulation of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the Agency's Annual Framework "shall determine the thematic areas of the Agency's activity, which must include the fight against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance"1. The thematic area referred to by the Honourable Member falls thus automatically in the Agency's sphere of activity.
"Racism and xenophobia are complex phenomena and it is not for the Commission to define the different forms and manifestations that they can take. The EU law, in particular the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive 2, prohibit certain manifestations of racism and xenophobia, including the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, and discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, or religion."