The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has set itself the objective of promoting the effective fight against racism, intolerance, xenophobia, populism, anti-Semitism and discouraging hate speech, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Tuesday.
"The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has been closely linked to the fundamental European values of cohesion, including the acceptance and promotion of these values within an ever-changing Union. We talked about fundamental values - unity, tolerance, understanding, solidarity - in a context influenced by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. We addressed issues such as migration, integration, inclusiveness, even against the background of an electoral campaign marked by multiple messages ranging from the pro-European to the populist ones. As regards the fundamental values we referred to, democracy, freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU has set as its essential objective the promotion of the effective fight against racism, intolerance, xenophobia, populism, anti-Semitism and the discouragement of hate speech," said Dancila, at the high-level meeting "The Perspective of a future strategy on preventing and fighting anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, radicalization and hate speech" at the Palace of Parliament.
She added that, given that the fake news dissemination phenomenon is becoming increasingly acute, the rotating Romanian Presidency has proposed measures to combat online misinformation and fake news, "including by improving media literacy and developing European mechanisms which promotes good practices in combating misinformation."
"Today's event brings to mind major concerns included both on the agenda of European and of the international institutions. I would recall the importance of increasing coordination between the EU Member States as well as making some decisions on the appointment of a European coordinator on issues related to anti-Semitism. (...) During the rotating presidency, Romania reiterated the importance of respecting human rights and reducing the gap between EU citizens, and I consider these elements to be of major relevance to the dialogue we have with the Jewish communities. We are all concerned with developing education about the Holocaust with all the issues arising from it and there are many proposals - a common curriculum, the setting up of a guide under the aegis of international forums being just the first of a long list. I assure you the the Romanian Government's involvement on this topic will continue. We would like Romania's efforts in the field of Holocaust education, research and memory and the fight against anti-Semitism to be a point of reference for all states in the region but also internationally, we also want Romania's ambitious projects in this field to be continued and implemented," the premier said.