Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

European Parliament Refuses Debate on 'Racist' Report

10th December 2003

The Leaders of the main political groups in the European Parliament have rejected a request for a debate on the decision by the Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) not to publish an anti-Semitism report.

The document blames some members of Europe's growing Muslim communities and far-right activists for a rise in anti-Semitic violence and speech. The report also claims that it is hard to distinguish between anti-Semitic acts and legitimate anti-Israeli Government protest.

Charles Tannock, Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, said: "It is unacceptable that for reasons of political correctness, the European Parliament will not be allowed to debate the thinking behind the initial decision to suppress this report.

The Jewish community needs reassurance that the EU will safeguard all its citizens' interests equally. Despite the report being belatedly published, with a disclaimer and after considerable political pressure, this matter deserves a full and frank debate before the whole Parliament.

Furthermore, this case questions the EU's strict neutrality required in its key role in the roadmap to peace in the Middle East."


David Sumberg, Conservative MEP for the North West, said:"It was a serious mistake not to publish this report. Parliament must be given a chance to discuss how such a disastrous set of circumstances occurred and how this can be prevented in the future. "