Press release: The Commission’s Communication proposing the extension of the list of EU crimes is a crucial measure at a very timely moment
Brussels, 09 December 2021
On 9 December 2021, the European Commission published its Communication on ‘A more inclusive and protective Europe’ calling for ‘joint efforts and commitment’ on hate crime and hate speech. With it, it invites the Council, with the consent of the Parliament, to decide on the extension of the list of EU crimes to ‘hate speech and hate crime’. The Communication is accompanied by a Commission initiative for the adoption of a Council decision, in line with Article 83(1), which would require unanimity in the Council.
The measure, which had already been announced in the Commission Work Programme for 2021, would be a first step towards the harmonisation of the legal patchwork of legislation in EU countries, ranging from criminalisation of hate crime and speech on several grounds, to a lack of such legal measures.
Marc Angel MEP (S&D), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:
Still today, being LGBTIQ is enough to be the victim of assault, harassment and violence, verbal or physical, at the hands of others. One’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics are often the motives for hateful instances, which have perpetuated in our Union for too long. For that matter, characteristics such as one’s race, religion or sex can also be behind such incidents, either on their own or taken collectively, and this calls for European responses to a yet pervasive European problem. Today, we strongly welcome the Communication by the Commission, which proposes to extend the list of EU crimes. Tomorrow, we start our work to make it a reality as soon as possible.
Liesje Schreinemacher MEP (Renew Europe), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:
Over the past years we have seen an increase of reports of hate crimes and hate speech against LGBTIQ people. This worrying trend is unacceptable and has to be stopped as soon as possible! Everybody in Europe should feel protected and safe. I am happy with the proposal published today by the European Commission, which proposes to extend the list of EU crimes to include ‘hate crime’ and ‘hate speech’. With this extension the EU can provide much needed protection to the LGBTIQ community, because in Europe everybody should feel safe to live the life they want and to love whom they want to love!
 European Commission, “Hate speech & hate crime – inclusion on list of EU crimes”, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12872-Hate-speech-&-hate-crime-inclusion-on-list-of-EU-crimes_en.