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Today's event is one of a series of events taking place in Israel and in Europe to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. EU events to commemorate this day take place in Brussels, including an annual training seminar by the European Commission on "The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights" in cooperation with the House of the Wannsee Conference.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day designated by the United Nations on 27 January to commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. It is dedicated to remembering the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, as well as Roma, mentally and physically disabled people, and homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It marks the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp.
EU Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret said: "In addition to the millions murdered in the Shoah, there were also millions who were nearly murdered, maimed, traumatized, orphaned and humiliated. It is always a humbling honour for me to speak with survivors, learn from them, and we will continue to do so. We should never forget that Holocaust remembrance is fundamental in the fight against Antisemitism. The rise of antisemitic incidents in Europe and the impact it has on the daily life of our Jewish citizens is a grave concern, and we need to also address it including by improving education on the Holocaust. That is why in particular the European Union decided to acquire Permanent International Partner status with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in November 2018.
This commitment begins with protecting and safeguarding the freedoms of our living European Jewish communities and citizens. This responsibility belongs to our governments and citizens, and we will "never again" abandon the Jews to suffer this alone."
Upon request of the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency published, in December 2018, the largest survey ever held among European Jews on their perception and experience of Antisemitism. The survey found that 9 out of 10 European Jews feel Antisemitism has increased over the past five years and that Antisemitism is having an impact on the daily lives of European Jews throughout the EU. The survey will serve as a basis for further fact-based policy making to counter Antisemitism. On 6 December 2018, the European Council unanimously adopted a declaration on the fight against Antisemitism and the development of a common security approach amongst EU member states to better protect Jewish communities and institutions.
The European Commission has a range of actions to combat Antisemitism, such as monitoring how European legislation combating Antisemitism is implemented, and guiding Member States on how to tackle anti-Semitic hate crime and hate speech.
In 2015, First-Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourová appointed a Commission Coordinator on combating Antisemitism to liaise with Jewish communities and strengthen the collaboration with international organisations, Member States' authorities and NGOs.
In May 2016 the European Commission concluded a Code of Conduct with IT companies to take down illegal hate speech and created a High-level expert group to improve recording of hate crime across the EU.
In January 2017 Commissioner Jourová endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition on Antisemitism as a useful tool for educational purposes in countering Antisemitism. The European Union also acquired Permanent International Partner status with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in November 2018.
On 6 December 2018, the European Council unanimously adopted a declaration on the fight against antisemitism and the development of a common security approach amongst EU member states to better protect Jewish communities and institutions.
Upon request of the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency published, on 10 December 2018, the largest survey ever held among European Jews on their perception and experience of Antisemitism. The survey will serve as a basis for further fact-based policy making to counter anti-Semitism.
The 12th EU – Israel High Level Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Antisemitism took place in Brussels in December 2018.
Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel
Sharon Offenberger +972 544 282213 email@example.com