EU to extend antisemitism fight to all policy areas

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

EU to extend antisemitism fight to all policy areas

Brussels-based organisation commits to IHRA definition of antisemitism and a Europe-wide strategy to fight Jew-hatred, in move welcomed by Jewish leaders on the continent

The European Union has said it will extend the fight against antisemitism across all policy areas in a declaration welcomed by Jewish leaders on the continent.

The announcement commits all levers of the Brussels-based organisation to both the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and to creating a Europe-wide strategy to address Jew hatred.

Jewish representatives said it was “a step in the right direction” as it praised the bloc “and specifically the German [rotating] presidency” for obliging all EU institutions to consider antisemitism in all of its measures and decisions.

In December 2018, a giant survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights of 15,000 Jews across the continent and found an alarming rise in antisemitism and this week’s statement, supported by all 27 member states, spells out that anti-Jewish bigotry constitutes an attack on European values.

Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission, said the Council’s decision reaffirms Europe’s commitment to fight antisemitism. “Today’s declaration recognises, with great concern, the rise in threats towards Jewish people, both online and offline,” he said.

“It calls for much needed decisive actions. It reiterates that Member States have a duty to ensure the security of Jewish communities and institutions. It also acknowledges the importance of the IHRA definition as a guiding tool for better identifying and addressing this scourge.”

He said the Commission would “present a comprehensive EU Strategy on combating against antisemitism in 2021” as Jewish leaders welcomed the declaration.

“The EU and, specifically, the German presidency, deserve praise for mainstreaming the fight against antisemitism,” said Daniel Schwammenthal of the American Jewish Committee’s Brussels office. “If properly implemented, this could bring about real progress.”

The European Commission’s 2019 “Eurobarometer” showed a striking discrepancy of perception of antisemitism in Europe, he said. While nine in ten Jews said it had significantly risen in five years, only a third of the general public agreed.

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the Conference of European Rabbis said it was “a welcome step in the right direction” but did not go far enough in key areas that could affect the Jewish way of life.

“We are dismayed that it does not protect the customs and practices of religious communities that operate peacefully and true to EU values,” he said. “Without a guarantee of freedom of faith for Jewish communities in Europe, there is no guarantee for a Jewish future.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: