Brussels, Oct 1 (IANS) The European Commission on Thursday hosted the first annual colloquium on fundamental rights, during which officials are slated to lead discussions on how to combat anti-semitism and Islamophobia in Europe.
The challenge was highlighted by a new survey which showed that 50 percent of Europeans believed discrimination based on religion or beliefs was widespread, Xinhua news agency reported.
Data from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights on anti-semitic offences, published on Wednesday, showed that 73 percent of respondents felt that anti-semitism online had become worse over the last five years.
Ahead of the event, first vice-president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans stressed that the collective responsibility to live together in tolerance and respect was particularly important at a time when people of various religions and cultures have been arriving in great numbers on EU’s shores.
Participants at the two-day colloquium include members of Jewish and Muslim communities, national and local authorities, NGOs, companies and media representatives.
They will exchange best practices in the fight against anti-semitism and Islamophobia and discuss steps for further action.