December 6, 2018 — Brussels, Belgium
American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised the Council of the European Union unanimous adoption today of a statement on combating antisemitism across Europe. It is the first time the Council’s 28-member states have passed a comprehensive measure aimed at mobilizing to counter antisemitism and to assure the safety of European Jews.
“The EU has taken a historic step toward fighting all forms of hatred targeting Jews,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the Brussels-based arm of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization.
“Significantly, the 28 EU member states have jointly recognized the severity of continuing threats to Jews, the need to protect Jewish institutions and communities, and the value of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.”
Schwammenthal praised Austrian Chancellor Kurz, who currently holds the EU presidency, for initiating the Council Declaration. “Chancellor Kurz has admirably made antisemitism an EU priority.”
The Council Declaration asks member states “to adopt and implement a holistic strategy to prevent and fight all forms of antisemitism.” It expresses EU determination to “ensure a future for Jewish people to live with the same sense of security and freedom as all other citizens in the European Union.” And it calls on EU member states that have not yet adopted the IHRA working definition to endorse it.
In 2015, AJC convened in Brussels “A Defining Moment for Europe,” a strategy conference on combating antisemitism. The Call to Action adopted at the groundbreaking conference was updated in June 2018.