EU Commits €30m to Enhance Security at Mosques and Synagogues

EU Commits €30m to Enhance Security at Mosques and Synagogues

The European Commission has pledged a significant €30 million fund to bolster security at mosques and synagogues across Europe. This move comes in response to an alarming rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia, intensified by tensions from the Israel-Hamas conflict. Recognizing the gravity of these incidents, the commission has condemned the escalation of hate crimes as fundamentally against European values.

Security and Solidarity

In a strong statement, Margaritis Schinas, the Vice-President of the European Commission, expressed deep concern over the safety of religious communities. Highlighting the visible security perimeters around mosques and synagogues, Schinas emphasized that such measures are contrary to the European ethos. His sentiments were echoed by Vera Jourová, the commission vice-president for values and transparency, as they jointly launched the ‘Europe against Hate’ campaign. The new fund will be primarily used to enhance security in public spaces, community centers, and places of worship.

Alarming Statistics

The commission has noted a “spectacular” surge in antisemitic incidents across Europe, with reports indicating an 800% increase in the Netherlands. In France, a striking comparison shows 1,518 incidents recorded in just over a month, compared to 436 for the entire year of 2023. Similarly, Islamophobia has seen a sharp uptick, with the French Muslim Council reporting an increase in threats and vandalism towards mosques and the Muslim community.

Social Media’s Role

The commissioners have called on social media companies to step up their efforts in removing hateful content. Jourová specifically pointed out Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok as platforms that need to do more. She emphasized the influence these platforms have, especially on young people, and the necessity of combating hate speech effectively.

Legislative Measures and Education

The European Commission is pushing for stronger rules under the new Digital Services Act to combat illegal hate speech online. This includes a code of conduct with online platforms and stricter regulations for large platforms. Additionally, the commission is supporting training for journalists and increasing support for fact-checkers, not just in the EU but also in the Arab-speaking world, to uphold media standards and recognize hate speech.

Correction and Clarification

It is important to note that an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the pledged amount as €30 billion. The correct figure is €30 million, as now amended in this report.


Back to top