MEPs vote to combat racist discrimination against Afro-Europeans
The European Parliament voted Tuesday to tackle structural racism faced by Europeans of African descent.
MEPs adopted a resolution calling on the EU and its member countries to address racist discrimination against Afro-Europeans, an estimated 15 million of whom currently live in the bloc. It was backed by 535 votes to 80, with 44 abstentions.
Amel Yacef, chair of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), described the vote as a “historic watershed moment for the recognition of people of African descent in Europe.”
“The European Parliament is leading the way and sending a signal to EU member states to tackle structural racism that prevents black people from being included in European society,” said Yacef, adding: “The ball is now in their court: we need concrete action plans and specific measures now.”
The resolution encourages national authorities within the EU to develop anti-racism measures aiming to end discrimination in fields such as education, criminal justice and housing.
In a press statement, MEPs urged the European Commission and EU member countries to “acknowledge the racist, discriminatory and xenophobic suffering of Afro-Europeans,” drawing attention to “numerous violent incidents and deaths” endured by people of African descent while held in police custody.
MEPs also called on EU institutions to “address and rectify past injustices and crimes against humanity” inflicted under European colonialism, encouraging member states to carry out “reparations” in the form of public apologies and the return of stolen artefacts.
In 2017, the European Commission’s “Diversity and Inclusion Charter” was criticised for its failure to stipulate guidelines and concrete measures aimed at monitoring inequality and tackling racial discrimination.