The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)“Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly calls on governments to stand up against rise of neo-Nazism in Europe”
by Maud Swinnen – 01 October 2014

STRASBOURG (EJP)—The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a resolution calling to stand up against the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe.

“The Parliamentary Assembly unequivocally condemns the increasing number of manifestations of neo-Nazism and the rise of neo-Nazi parties and movements in Europe, some of which have entered parliament at national or European level,” the resolution says, in a reference to electoral gains made by these parties after the May 2014 European elections.

The resolutions adds, ”This is not an isolated phenomenon particular to some Council of Europe member states, but rather a problem with pan-European dimensions. It often lays dormant in society until the right conditions for emergence come about. It can thus only be effectively tackled on the basis of shared experiences and good practice among member states.” …

“If popular disappointment over harsh economic conditions and frustration triggered by governmental failures to implement comprehensive migration policies may, in some cases, partly explain the rising popularity of neo-Nazi parties as a “protest vote,” this only further enhances the responsibility of government representatives and democratic politicians, who should stand up and unite in defending democratic values,” the resolution says.

PACE underlines that in the fight against neo-Nazism, the focus should be on prevention, “through education and awareness raising,” and “early reaction, at grass-roots level, to any manifestations of neo-Nazism, whether violent or not, be it by organised groups or radicalised individuals.”

The lawmakers have proposed making party leaders and members, including members of parliament, “criminally liable for using hate speech or committing hate crime or any other criminal offence, reacting timely and effectively.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) brings together 318 men and women from the parliaments of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. Though it contains many voices, reflecting political opinion across the continent, its mission is to uphold the shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that are the “common heritage” of the peoples of Europe.

EJPress – foto: Parlementaire Vergadering van de Raad van Europa (PACE)