Combating Words that incite Violence

18.01.2024 9:27

Combating Words that incite Violence

Hate Speech on keyboard

“Evil begins with a word. The tragedies of individual people, but also the worst crimes against humanity, begin with dehumanisation, harassment and incitement to hatred,” stresses Magdalena Adamowicz MEP, the lead negotiator for the EPP Group on the draft legislation to criminalise hate speech and hate crimes in the European Union. Adamowicz is speaking ahead of the today's vote on this topic in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

‘EU crimes’ are crimes of a particularly serious nature with a cross-border dimension, as set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. At present, hate speech and hate crimes are dealt with differently in different EU countries, while EU-wide rules are limited to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

“The words that spread hatred and incite crime are murder weapons, and it's high time we treated them as such,” Adamowicz adds.

The expression of hate speech and the perpetration of hate crimes are not only an assault on human dignity, but they also erode the fabric of society and compromise the fundamental principles of unity. Currently, these actions are intensified by extremist and populist movements and further amplified by social media. Regrettably, there has been a lack of significant progress among EU Member States, and the necessary unanimity to endorse this decision has not been achieved.

“I therefore urge the Member States to unblock the negotiations and include hate speech and hate crimes in the list of EU crimes,” concludes Adamowicz.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States

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