At a time when racism and intolerance are rife in Europe, political parties are best placed to combat racism, intolerance and hate speech, the Assembly said today.
The parliamentarians consider that the Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society, opened for signature in 1998 and to which more than eighty European parties have subscribed, has given them the opportunity to "formalise their commitment to defend human rights". Today, its revised version, undertaken by PACE in co-operation with the European Parliament and ECRI, has a broader scope, reflected in a new title: "Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist and Inclusive Society".
Following the proposals of the rapporteur, Momodou Malcolm Jallow (Sweden, UEL), the Assembly called on all democratic political parties to sign this new version and to apply it in their internal functioning and public action, in particular by asking all members to "formally commit themselves to its principles, by signing the Charter personally, and by setting up independent complaint mechanisms".
The parliamentarians called on national parliaments of Council of Europe member States to endorse the Charter, and on political groups and national delegations in the Assembly to promote it among their members. They invited the European Parliament to endorse the Charter and promote it among its political groups.
The Assembly could, they stressed, periodically review the state of implementation of the Charter, and the PACE Parliamentary No Hate Alliance could "help promote the Charter among political parties and groups".