EU member states are strengthening their mutual hate crime approach and will improve the help for victims. Methods used to record and report hate crimes will now be interchanged via an online compendium. Minister Ard van der Steur and director Michael O’Flaherty of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) launched the website in Amsterdam during an EU conference on hate crime.
The website is developed by the FRA and offers a practical guide for enforcement and policy makers, who can apply it in their own country in practice. A step in the right direction, according to Minister Van der Steur: “It offers a platform for interchanging information and learning from each other's experiences. How we can get victims to report these crimes. How we can deal with these hate crimes as effectively as possible with the capacity available. And with better statistical data, how we can get insight into the scope of this form of criminality. This phenomenon does not stop at borders. We truly have to do this together.”
EU Commissioner Vera Jourová and FRA director Michael O’Flaherty also speak of an important step. Jourová: “Hate crimes are contrary to the core values of the EU. Each day, these values are violated with the EU, as citizens are being attacked because they look different, for their beliefs or simply for who they are.” O’Flaherty: “To effectively fight hate crimes, we have to join forces and learn from each other what works.”
More efficiency and proper training
During the two day EU conference, knowledge sharing takes centre stage. After launching the compendium, delegates from Finland, Croatia and Ireland presented practical examples of the reporting and recording of hate crimes, how to effectively reach the population, and the importance of the proper training in dealing with this form of crime.
Hate crime is common in the European Union. The motives for these crimes often remain unclear, as reporting and prosecution is usually focussed on the crime itself, not the motive behind the attack. Victims therefore do not feel understood. An exchange of the best ways of reporting and registering hate crimes will have to improve the care for victims within the EU.