The Council of the EU has issued a statement on the fight against antisemitism. It has also called for better protection of Jewish communities and institutions in Europe, the EU’s Interior Ministers’ Council announced in Brussels on Thursday.

The Council acknowledged that “Jewish communities in some EU countries feel particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks following a rise in violent attacks in recent years.” Member States are invited to adopt and implement a comprehensive strategy that includes fighting alls forms of antisemitism.

Definition

The Council also called on Member States to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. This is useful as a guideline in education and for the security authorities.

The German commissioner for the fight against antisemitism, Felix Klein, described the declaration as “an important step in the fight against antisemitism”. He emphasized: “In order to better protect Jewish life in Europe and around the world, the judiciary and the police need clear provisions and recommendations for action.” It is to be hoped that the numerous recommendations, for example on the culture of remembrance, will not only increase the safety of Jewish people but in promoting a democratic culture for all Europeans,” Klein said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry welcomed the statement. It was a “groundbreaking decision” to advance the security of Jewish communities in Europe and to strengthen the fight against antisemitism.

Measures

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) also reacted positively. “This is an unprecedented statement,” said EJC President Moshe Kantor. “It is an important step in the fight against antisemitism, as it provides a positive and concrete roadmap for the protection of Jewish communities and strengthens governments’ legislative tools to combat hatred and intolerance.”

“We hope now that every EU Member State will take the necessary and appropriate measures and that the European Commission and the European Parliament will monitor the progress of each state in the fight against antisemitism.”