Sunday

5th Feb 2023

Finland shamed on racism in EU study

  • Around 70 percent of people of African descent say they have been stopped by police in Italy (Photo: Alice Latta)

Around a third of people of African descent across a dozen EU states have experienced some form of racist harassment in the past five years.

The findings, out Wednesday (28 November) in a report by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), paints a dire picture for people whose skin colour is not white.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Black people in the EU today are still victims of widespread and unacceptable levels of discrimination and harassment simply because of their skin colour," said FRA's director Michael O'Flaherty, in a statement.

He said EU states must put together policies to tackle the racism, noting that "racial discrimination and harassment are commonplace."

The FRA's 80-page report is based on interviews with 6,000 people of African descent across 12 EU states.

Of those 12 EU states, Finland tops the chart in terms of perceived racial harassment, described as offensive comments and gestures.

At least 63 percent of those surveyed in Finland had experienced some form of harassment motivated by racism.

This was followed by Luxembourg at 52 percent and Ireland at 51 percent.

The least amount of racial harassment was registered in Malta at 20 percent, followed by the UK at 21 percent, and Portugal at 23 percent.

Similar listings of EU state rankings were found for those who experienced violence motivated by racism.

The highest rates of violence were recorded in Finland (14 percent), followed by Ireland and Austria at both 13 percent and then Luxembourg at 11 percent.

The lowest rates of violence was found in Portugal at 2 percent and the United Kingdom at 3 percent.

Men in traditional clothing were also twice as likely to get assaulted.

At least one in ten of those acts were committed by a police officer, posing further questions on racial profiling.

In Italy and Austria, people are more likely to get stopped by the police because of their skin colour.

The discrimination also spreads into housing and jobs, condemning many to poverty because of their skin colour.

Some landlords refuse to rent out their homes, while a quarter are discriminated against while at work.

"Many also face precarious living conditions, which can exacerbate social exclusion," notes the report.

The survey covered Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

EU's Roma policy struggles to produce results

Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner for justice, is seeking more "practical" solutions to address the issue of Roma integration as she begins to rework the policy and rethink its spending.

Opinion

Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

On European Day Against Islamophobia, EU decision-makers need to get serious about tackling Islamophobia, which has become a major society issue impacting all of us.

Opinion

Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?

There can be no more excuses for business. They will be held for responsible for their failure to take action to prevent the risk of human and labour rights through their supply chains.

Black MEP: 'I have been a victim of police violence'

MEPs urged an end to structural racism and discrimination in Europe and the US, following the brutal killing of black American George Floyd by US police. Socialists and Green MEPs stressed the need to unblock the anti-discrimination directive.

Opinion

Black MEPs: Why no non-white EU commissioners?

The EU is not an exception. We have both been stopped on several occasions by security personnel in the European Parliament asking us what business we had on the premises. None of our white colleagues have reported such experiences.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Opinion

Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

The director of Amnesty International Greece on the political spying scandal that now threatens to bring down prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Activists and NGO staff work with the constant fear that they are being spied on.

Latest News

  1. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  2. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  3. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  4. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  5. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  6. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  7. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  8. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us