Austria Calls for "European Year Against Hate" for 2024

OrganizationsInternational Organizations ♦ Published: May 22, 2023; 22:36 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria is demanding a "European Year against Hate" in 2024, as stated by State Secretary Claudia Plakolm. This demand was made during the meeting of the Council of Youth Ministers in Brussels.

Austrian State Secretary Claudia Plakolm Attended the Youth Council in Brussels. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Florian Schrötter

State Secretary Claudia Plakolm is committed to a "European Year against Hate" in 2024. Plakolm expressed deep concern over the increasing rise of hate in society and emphasized the need to confront this phenomenon resolutely, both in digital and analog forms. She stressed that this demand should extend to the European level as well.

The State Secretary pleaded for a particular focus on anti-Semitism, which has gained a foothold in Europe through uncontrolled illegal migration. Anti-Semitism and extremism are poison for society, she said, and it is alarming that these tendencies are on the rise. She referred to the recently published anti-Semitism report by the Austrian parliament, which showed alarming results when people of Turkish and Arab origin were surveyed in Austria. Plakolm stressed that there is a pronounced form of Muslim anti-Semitism, especially among young people with a Turkish or Arab background. She stressed the responsibility of the communities to take vigorous action against anti-Semitism in their ranks and praised the clear commitment of the Austrian federal government against any extremism.

The State Secretary described a "European Year against Hate" as a great initiative to strengthen people's civil courage. Given the current Ukraine conflict, she said, it is more important than ever to make the young generation aware of the importance of peace in a united Europe.

In addition, the youth ministers discussed the issue of the inclusion of Ukrainian children from displaced families. State Secretary Plakolm referred to Austria's exemplary Buddy Initiative, which was launched a year ago. This initiative brings together young Austrian volunteers and young Ukrainian displaced persons in a buddy partnership to promote integration and learning of the German language. Plakolm praised the buddy system as a best practice example that should be adopted by other countries.

State Secretary Plakolm's call for a "European Year against Hate" demonstrates Austria's commitment to the fight against hate and extremism. It underscores the need to work together at the European level to combat these negative tendencies and to emphasize the importance of peace and inclusion.


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