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Fight against extremism: achievements, deficiencies and failures

Recommendation 1933 (2010)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 5 October 2010 (30th Sitting) (see Doc. 12265, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Agramunt Font de Mora; and Doc. 12337, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Marcenaro). Text adopted by the Assembly on 5 October 2010 (30th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1754 (2010) on the fight against extremism: achievements, deficiencies and failures in which it expresses its concern at the upsurge of certain forms of extremism in Europe.
2. Countering extremism while upholding democracy and the respect for human rights and the rule of law represents a continuous challenge for Council of Europe member states.
3. The Assembly expresses its appreciation for the important work accomplished by numerous Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms, as well as the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), in assisting member states in meeting this challenge. Their expertise is even more necessary in the light of the possible effects of the recent economic crisis.
4. The Assembly also recalls that, although freedom of expression and freedom of association are the pillars of a pluralist democracy, their exercise can be restricted. Such restrictions should always be prescribed by law, should be necessary in a democratic society and should pursue the legitimate aims mentioned in the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5), such as prevention of disorder or crime, the protection of morals and the protection of the rights of others.
5. With these considerations in mind, the Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
5.1 invite the Organisation’s relevant monitoring mechanisms to undertake an evaluation of the extent to which Council of Europe member states have complied with the Committee of Ministers Recommendation No. R (97) 20 on “hate speech” and endorsed the models of good practice and the recommendations put forward in the Council of Europe publication Manual on hate speech (2009);
5.2 invite the Organisation’s relevant monitoring mechanisms to monitor the compliance of anti-extremism legislation introduced in some Council of Europe member states with international human rights instruments such as the European Convention on Human Rights;
5.3 enhance the outreach capacity and the visibility of its monitoring mechanisms, such as the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, in order for them to play a greater role in raising public awareness of such matters;
5.4 encourage its relevant committees and independent monitoring mechanisms, notably ECRI, to:
5.4.1 study the impact of the current economic crisis on extremism, as well as on racism and racial discrimination;
5.4.2 pursue their work on the issue of Islamophobia, in the light of recent developments;
5.5 step up its activities in the field of education and intercultural dialogue, including in its religious dimension.