There are too many lessons to learn from the EU on democracy and human rights! That is what comes to our mind first after the announcement of the first report prepared by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which last year replaced the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).
According to the report of 2008 which the EU Fundamental Rights Agency prepared and submitted to the European Parliament, the EU failed the struggle against racism and discrimination. When you look for a job or a house or make a research about the education opportunities in the EU countries, you see that your ethnic origin is of great importance. What is more, if your name sounds like a foreign name, you may even face discrimination.
The Agency, which was established as a control mechanism in the struggle against discrimination in employment, accommodation, education, health and other fields in the EU, found out that racism, discrimination, and violence and aggression based on racism have become a part of life for the people in Europe. Besides, it also determined that there had been an increase in the racist violence and crimes in at least eight countries of the 27-member EU in the last six years.
What is interesting is that despite the racist escalation in Europe, one cannot see any criminal sanctions due to such practices in Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, Lithuania, Spain, Poland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency expressed that the existing legal tools were not used properly against racism and many parts of the "EU's race equality directive" were not fulfilled in these countries. Moreover, it was underlined that should there be a complaint about the racist treatments in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Spain, there was not a related commission to handle the issue.
Therefore, it is difficult to get a real picture about racism which became widespread throughout the EU. As it is explained in the report, the dimension of the ethnic violence in the European countries cannot be estimated accurately due to the lack of data at national level. It was reported that governments were not successful in gathering information on racist crimes, and five EU members had not published any data for the period of 2005-2006. Thus, one cannot talk about transparency in the EU.
Meanwhile, Agency Head Anastasia Crickley expressed that although most of the member countries signed the agreements, they were reluctant to make any attempt to solve the problem and to implement the legal regulations in line with the principle of equality. So, one cannot figure out whether the calls of A.Crickley to the European Commission to ensure that its member countries pay more attention to fulfill the EU's race equality directive will be effective.
It is not customary for the EU to criticize its own institutions for their practices in the EU. It seems that foreigners going to Europe for better living conditions cannot expect anything but discrimination and violence. In short, in Europe, racism and discrimination are in, but tolerance is out.