Neo-Nazis are not to be ignored; they should not be turned into martyrs either, the PACE Political Affairs Committee members emphasised today at their meeting in Paris at the Senate by unanimously adopting a report by Marietta Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD) entitled "Counteraction to manifestations of neo-Nazism".
The parliamentarians particularly stressed the prime responsibility of government representatives and democratic political leaders whom they urged to form a bloc around a "democratic consensus" in order to raise concerted opposition to neo-Nazi ideology and to the political parties that speak up in its favour whether in or out of parliament. All political leaders are thus invited to engage in debate with the neo-Nazi movements so as to expose them publicly by refuting and condemning their ideology and rhetoric. Other measures should include making party leaders and members, parliamentarians among them, criminally liable for hate speech, and preventing the funding of such parties.
The parliamentarians also called on Council of Europe member States to design social, economic and cultural strategies to reduce the scope for neo-Nazi ideology to flourish.
In order to keep alive the memory of the victims of the tragic attack committed by a neo-Nazi on 22 July 2011 in Norway, the committee invites PACE to support the initiative by youth activists to make 22 July the European Day for Victims of Hate Crime. The report will be debated by PACE at its next plenary session in Strasbourg (29 September-3 October).