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EU agency sees fundamental rights under threat in Europe

June 5, 2024 at 2:26 pm

People gather to stage protest against the newly proposed immigration and asylum regulations of the European Union (EU) during the General Assembly vote at European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on April 10, 2024 [Selen Valente Rasquinho – Anadolu Agency]

The Vienna-based EU Fundamental Rights Agency sees rights in Europe threatened by poverty, racism and “challenges related to migration,” Anadolu has reported.

In its annual report released on Wednesday, the agency said that the rise in anti-Muslim discrimination following the escalation in the Middle East conflict was less reported than the rise in anti-Semitism. However, anti-Muslim racism is “no less worrying,” it pointed out.

“National media and non-governmental organisations in several countries reported attacks on mosques and Muslim cemeteries, as well as on individuals and organisations,” the report explained. “NGOs reported a 43-fold increase in anti-Muslim comments on YouTube worldwide after 7 October 2023.” This was a reference to the start of Israel’s war against the Palestinians in Gaza.

The report also expressed concern about the rise in energy and living costs which have driven “one in five people in the EU into poverty.” Despite government measures, “children and vulnerable households such as single parents, Roma and migrant families are the most at risk.”

As far as the new, recently adopted reform of EU asylum and migration rules is concerned, the agency drew an ambivalent conclusion.

“If the new rules on the monitoring of fundamental rights and the protection of children, as well as a clear obligation to investigate all substantiated reports, are fully implemented, compliance with fundamental rights can be improved,” it said. At the same time, though, over 4,000 people drowned or were reported missing at sea in 2023. This is the highest number of victims in the past five years.

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