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Anti-Semitic study bemoans lack of reporting standards in Europe

Only a few European Union countries routinely log reports of anti-Semitic incidents, according to a study released on Tuesday, making it harder to combat the problem.

Vienna, 9 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Only a few European Union countries routinely log reports of anti-Semitic incidents, according to a study released on Tuesday, making it harder to combat the problem.

For example, there is no data-gathering on the subject in Hungary and Portugal, according to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Such oversights explain why so many cases go unnoticed.

“Anti-Semitism is a serious problem. But without the data, we do not know how serious it is. The lack of data also hinders us to effectively counter anti-Semitism,” said FRA director Michael O’Flaherty.

Furthermore, only 13 of the EU’s 27 members have worked up an action plan against anti-Semitism, though several other countries are in the process of drafting such plans.

The FRA did not gather any fresh data for its reports, but relied on statistics provided by government agencies and civil society groups. However, it noted that this resulted in different standards for reporting incidents in those countries from which data was available.

Thus, Germany logged 2,351 “politically motivated crimes with an anti-Semitic motive” for 2020, up from 2,032 in 2019, while Latvia recorded only one “anti-Semitic incident,” down from two the year before.

Other countries recorded “incidents pertaining to anti-Semitism” (Romania, with 18) or “anti-Semitic offences committed by right-wing extremists” (Austria, with 36), for example.

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