The European Commission is developing a new strategy to tackle antisemitism

Due to antisemitism growing primarily online, the European Commission will introduce a change in strategy in the fight against antisemitism.

Katharina von Schnurbein, the appointed European Commission Coordinator for Combating Antisemitism, confirmed on Thursday, 21 January 2021, that the EU will present the related accurate strategic plan later this year. She added that discussions with the representatives of the Jewish community are currently ongoing.

According to Schnurbein, sensitive online content is not always illegal, yet it still leads to the radicalisation of certain people. In this context, she brought up the Halle synagogue attack from two years ago. Also, recently a young man wearing a kippah was attacked in Köln.

The research conducted by the European Commission in early June revealed that since the outbreak of COVID-19, there was a thirteen-fold increase in the number of antisemitic content on certain German Twitter, Facebook and Telegram platforms. The basis for comparison was the first two months of 2020 and 2021.

Schnurbein believes the first European strategy on Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life will incentivise EU Member States to fulfil EU objectives of curbing antisemitism online. She expressed that in 2018, EU Member States agreed that national strategies should be adopted in the fight against antisemitism; however, only three countries have developed such strategies.

The strategy sets out measures focusing on: (1) preventing and combating all forms of antisemitism; (2) protecting and fostering Jewish life in the EU; and (3) education, research and Holocaust remembrance. These measures are complemented by the EU’s international efforts to address antisemitism globally.