2021 saw progress on EU legislation against hate speech

We revisit our special feature on curbing hate speech and hate crimes, with comment from MEPs Alice Kuhnke, Marc Angel, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop and more
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With over 80 percent of female politicians having suffered cyberviolence, intimidation and harassment, MEPs used the media attention around proposals to extend of the list of EU crimes to cover hate speech and hate crimes to highlight why urgent action was needed to curb online hate.

Here are three of the Parliament Magazine’s key articles on this topic.


Alice Kuhnke (SE, Greens/EFA): Don’t stand for hate

The EU should be a place where everyone can live in freedom and peace, no matter who they are, how they live, or who the love, Swedish Greens/EFA deputy Alice Kuhnke told the Parliament’ Magazine’s readers in a special feature in June, looking at Hate Crime. “Unfortunately,” explained Swedish Greens/EFA deputy, “this is not the case for all in Europe today”.

Kuhnke a shadow rapporteur on the report on Strengthening Media Freedom said the European Commission’s initiative to add hate crime and hate speech to the list of EU crimes should be applauded as an important step in protecting Europe’s citizens.

And she argued that adding hate crime and hate speech to the list of EU crimes would help millions of women feel safer, saying, “It is crucial that we take firm measures against threats and harassment, no matter whether they occur online or offline”.

 

Marc Angel (LU, S&D): A milestone for the LGBTI community

The extension of the list of EU crimes to cover hate speech and hate crimes, including when targeted at LGBTI people, will, wrote argues Marc Angel, “be one of the most important acts of this legislative term”.

Writing for the Parliament Magazine Angel revealed that the European Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2021 report on discrimination, entitled “A long way to go for LGBTI equality” had highlighted the fact that Europe’s LGBTI community suffered disproportionately from hate speech and hate crimes.

“With the extension of the list of EU crimes, attacking LGBTI persons verbally or physically - will finally be a crime in all 27 Member States. This is a crucial step in ensuring the mental and physical integrity of LGBTI persons,” he explained.

Read Marc Angel's full article here.

 

Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (ES, The Left), talking to Lorna Hutchinson: On the cyberviolence frontline

With over 80 percent of female politicians having suffered cyberviolence, intimidation and harassment, it’s clear why MEPs began calling on the European Commission to introduce legislation to curb online hate.

Spanish MEP for The Left Eugenia Rodríguez Palop highlighted that the fact that 60 percent of female members of parliament in the EU had been subjected to sexist attacks online, including misogynistic insults, incitement to hatred, death threats, harassment, deep fakes and even pornographic videos.

Speaking to our former deputy editor, Lorna Hutchinson, Rodríguez Palop added, “Some would have us believe that politics is a man’s world, and they would have us stay at home. Nonetheless, we persist, and we stay. We are fighting for feminist politics; we are tired of testosterone and of leaders obsessed with power and control. We will manage to feminise politics and we will put an end to this phallocentric politics that fuels misogyny.”

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