The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for increased action to tackle structural racism in Member States.
MEPs called on national governments across the EU to implement policies which address systemic racism and prevent racial discrimination in various fields, including education; housing; political participation and migration. The resolution urged the European Commission, along with Member States’ governments, to recognise the racism, xenophobia and discrimination experienced by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Europeans. It further recommended authorities provide the appropriate protection against inequality to Europeans in minority groups, both by ensuring hate crimes are correctly investigated and prosecuted; and by taking the specific needs of BAME citizens into account when allocating EU funding.
The resolution highlighted mistreatment of EU residents of African descent by the police, both in terms of the high rate of violent incidents and deaths which occur in police custody and in terms of arresting practices. MEPs strongly condemned the widespread deployment of racial and ethnic profiling across law enforcement bodies, including in crime prevention, antiterrorism policing and immigration enforcement; and called on Member States to end the practice.
In addition to current racial injustices, the resolution noted the historic abuses perpetrated against African nations and their citizens by European countries in the name of colonialism. MEPs highlighted that the “historic crimes” of colonisation had had a long lasting effect, with their negative consequences still being felt by Europeans of African descent today. They recommended a range of reparations to be implemented under EU anti-racism policies, including public apologies; the return of African cultural artefacts to their countries of origin; and a comprehensive educational curriculum to take full account of colonialism and slavery.
Portuguese MEP José Inácio Faria, a signatory to the resolution, said: “This sad panorama is a shame that is happening all over Europe, including in my country, where people of African descent are particularly vulnerable socially and economically and where unfortunately reports of police violence based on racial discrimination persist, where countless people of colour are treated as immigrants and immigrants of colour see their right to nationality being restricted to them and their inherent rights to be denied to them by an institutional racism that persists in keeping in the 21st century. It is therefore urgent to create a European Union framework for national strategies for the social inclusion and integration of people of African descent, including the promotion of political empowerment, the fight against afro-phobia and hate crimes.”