23rd Mar 2018


Political groups pledge to conduct hate-free campaigns

The majority of mainstream parties in the European Parliament on Wednesday (19 March) signed a pledge to conduct election campaigns free from discrimination and intolerance.

“The [European Parliament] elections are taking place at a time that is marked by crisis and the rise of extremism in different parts of Europe,” said Evelyne Paradis, executive director at the Brussels-based Ilga-Europe, the EU umbrella organisation for the rights of LGBTI people.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • More MEPs from far-right groups are likely to enter the European Parliament following the elections in May (Photo: European Parliament)

The pledge, drafted jointly by Ilga-Europe and the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism (Enar), calls upon the groups to refrain from any message that would foster prejudice and discrimination in the lead-up to the elections in May.

It asks them to use “inclusive language” when referring to minorities, contribute to debates in a responsible manner, and reject anything that insights hostility towards different communities.

Both NGOs will monitor the political parties to make sure they follow the commitments.

The liberals (Alde), the centre-left (S&D), the European Green Party, and the European Left have all signed the appeal.

The parliament’s largest group, the centre-right EPP, did not.

“We have decided not to sign the declaration,” said EPP’s deputy secretary-general Christian Kremer.

Kremer said the group instead sent a letter to Ilga-Europe and Enar with points similar to those highlighted in the declaration.

“It was merely a technical decision because we were receiving a number of declarations from different NGOs,” he said.

He pointed out that the EPP presidency is not signing declarations from any external organisation.

Kremer said the group is committed to fighting discrimination, inequality “and everything that regards discrimination.”

Lousewies van der Laan, a former Dutch MEP and current vice-president of the European Liberal Democrats, said the space for homophobia and racism needs to be limited.

“Every time you don’t expose it or counter it, you allow the discourse to become more vulgar,” she told this website.

“This is not about not having certain discussions, it is about putting limits … you don’t want people to incite hatred, you don’t want them to be racist, you don’t want them to be homophobic,” she said.

The joint pledge will also be sent to the different parties at the national level.

“It is really good that we have this large commitment so that we can try to have a cleaner campaign this year,” said Enar’s director Michael Privot.


When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.


Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

News in Brief

  1. EU will be exempted from tariffs, says US minister
  2. Malmstroem: EU 'hopes' for US tariffs exemption
  3. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says
  4. Italy's centre-right set to share top posts with 5-star movement
  5. Brussels condemns tear gas in Kosovo parliament
  6. Finland pays billionaire €400,000 in EU farm subsidies
  7. 44 leaders sign up for Africa free trade area deal
  8. British 'blue' passports to be made in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  2. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  3. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  4. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  5. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  6. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  7. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  8. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions