In Europe, a new form of racism is increasingly widespread, especially among young people. Neo-racism is fuelled by hostility towards immigrants who become scapegoats and are held responsible for current difficulties and the economic crisis. It gathers several kinds of prejudice and manifestations of intolerance: anti-semitism, islamophobia and anti-gypsyism. Traditional racism is based on biological or genetic heritage of the “race” and promotes openly discriminatory behaviours, while neo-racism takes a more hidden form, stating that cultural differences are incompatible and prevent a harmonious living together.
The neo-racist discourse presents values that can seem acceptable, but it is accompanied by intolerant actions and speeches towards minorities, people belonging to the Jewish or Muslim faith and Roma. This kind of racism, which is normalised, ambiguous and diffuse leads to an open, insidious and dangerous racism. This phenomenon is characterised by the progress of populistic and xenophobic political parties in Europe, which disseminate hate speech or commit or call for violent acts.
The Parliamentary Assembly, engaged for many years in combating racism and intolerance, should pay special attention to neo-racism and propose concrete measures so as to combat efficiently this new form of discrimination.