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With conflicts in the Middle East, acts of Islamist violence and incidents of unprecedented mass arrivals of migrants, the  the annual report of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), published today, identifies dramatic increases in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, online hate speech and xenophobic political discourse as main trends in 2014.

“The evidence of rising anti-Semitism, islamophobia and racism makes for alarming reading,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

“Across Europe, openness and tolerance are giving way to anger and blame, at a time when profound economic uncertainty hangs over the continent,” he added. “Europeans should know from our history that the combination of growing prejudice and economic instability is a recipe for disaster.  Governments across Europe must intervene decisively to tackle discrimination and promote understanding and respect.”

The Secretary General joins ECRI in encouraging member states to use Council of Europe tools that counter all forms of racism and intolerance.

He called on member states to ratify the Council of Europe’s Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime criminalising racist and xenophobic acts committed online and Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits discrimination in general.

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