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Fight against extremism: achievements, deficiencies and failures

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11515 | 30 January 2008

Mr József BERÉNYI, Slovak Republic ; Ms Meritxell BATET, Spain, SOC ; Mr Aleksandër BIBERAJ, Albania ; Mr Július BROCKA, Slovak Republic ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Ms Ingrida CIRCENE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Minodora CLIVETI, Romania ; Mr Ferdinand DEVÍNSKY, Slovak Republic ; Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Eduard KUKAN, Slovak Republic ; Mr Christos POURGOURIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Dario RIVOLTA, Italy ; Lord David RUSSELL-JOHNSTON, United Kingdom ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Björn von SYDOW, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Milan URBÁNI, Slovak Republic ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD
Referred to the Political Affairs Committee, for report, and to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, for opinion: Reference No. 3425 (see 11th Sitting, 14 April 2008).

The fight against extremism is a topic of debate in all Council of Europe member states. Although international organisations, as well as the parliaments and governments of the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union, have on several occasions stated their policy of zero tolerance as regards extremist parties, movements and phenomena in general, we are now witnessing an increasing number of extremist groups in Council of Europe member states, which are actually getting stronger and more self-confident. These groups are not just endangering the existence of democratic societies, but in many cases they represent a daily menace for the citizens who respect the legal order of their country.

The Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe have not only defined the substance of extremism in their earlier documents, such as Resolution 1308 (2002),NoteRecommendation 1438 (2000)Note or Resolution 1344 (2003),Note but have also outlined the democratic means to fight it. In 1993, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe came into existence. In addition to the formulation of general principles in the fight against racism, ECRI is also tasked with compiling country reports on each member state.

There are various means of fighting extremism, such as legal restrictions on the existence of extremist groups and individual activities, education that teaches the principles of tolerance and respect for otherness, as well as effective co-operation between international, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The undersigned, in the light of the above-mentioned considerations, propose that, following the Assembly’s previous adopted texts against extremism, the Parliamentary Assembly should return to this topic after a certain period of time and, on the basis of the existing documents of the ECRI, the competent committee should prepare an implementation report concerning these texts, as well as a report on the most effective solutions, the deficiencies and failures in the fight against extremism in the member states, in order to intensify the fight against extremism.