With antisemitism worryingly on the rise in Europe and beyond, the European Union is beginning to implement the first ever EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life. EU regions and cities have a crucial role in protecting and promoting Jewish cultural heritage as a vital part of Europe's culture and way of life.
Presenting the European Committee of the Regions'
at the plenary session last week, rapporteur János Adam Karácsony (HU/ECR) underlined that the fight
against antisemitism is about safeguarding and demonstrating European core
values. The Vice-President of the Pest Megye County Council welcomed that
"includes a reference to the much-needed support for local and regional
authorities to safeguard Jewish heritage and raise awareness of local
Jewish culture and traditions" and suggested, for instance, that an action
plan could be developed to revitalise Jewish quarters in European cities.
The opinion highlights the importance of education in preserving memory of
Holocaust, dismantling prejudices against Jews and raising awareness of
Jewish culture and history. "The purpose of combatting antisemitism is not just
protection of Jewish community but the community of all European nations
whose foundation is a commitment to shared values", Mr Karácsony concluded.
"Antisemitism is a poison to society, a threat to our EU values and
everything that the EU stands for. If we fail to ensure future for Jews in
Europe, European project will have failed", stressed Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission
Coordinator on combating antisemitism. She regretted that security concerns
have led to Jews leaving some European countries and pointed out that "if
the actions at EU level don't trigger down to cities and regions, little
will change for the Jewish community".
Ms von Schnurbein warned against increasing antisemitic hate speech and
conspiracy theories online and welcomed that the Czech EU Council
Presidency will address the topic in a specific conference in November. She
also accused Russia for using the Holocaust and false claims of
denazification to justify the brutal invasion of Ukraine.