Delegation of the European Union to Israel

Joint EU –Yad Vashem event to promote Holocaust research

Ramat Gan, 22/03/2019 - 10:09, UNIQUE ID: 190322_5
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On Tuesday 12 March, the EU Delegation to Israel hosted a meeting in Yad Vashem to present the EHRI EU- funded project "European Holocaust Research Infrastructure" in which Yad Vashem is a central leading partner. The event was held jointly with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem and is part of the work done by the EU Delegation in Israel, together with the EU Member States, on Holocaust remembrance and combatting anti-Semitism.

The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) portal provides access to more than 2000 Holocaust-related archival institutions in 57 countries and to descriptions of tens of thousands of archival material. Yad Vashem has been a leading partner in the project since its inception and has played a leading role in its initiation and advancement. Starting out in 2010 as a European Commission financed initiative, under the EU 7th Framework Programme, researchers in 24 institutions in Europe and Israel work together to make archives accessible and to connect collections.


The first phase of EHRI ended in May 2015 and it was decided to continue to a second phase until April 2019, with €8 million of funding under the Horizon2020 programme. EHRI seeks to transform archival research on the Holocaust by integrating data, services and expertise of existing Holocaust infrastructures. It allows researchers from across the globe transnational and virtual access to the integrated infrastructure and provides them with innovative digital tools and methods to collaboratively explore and analyse Holocaust sources.


Speaking at the event were Dr. Haim Gertner Director of the Yad Vashem Archives Division, Ambassador  Emanuele Giaufret, Head of EU Delegation to Israel  and Katharina Von Schnurbein, European Commission's coordinator on combatting Antisemitism


EU Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret said: "This is one of many initiatives which the EU has initiated or supported in the field of Holocaust remembrance which is not only of utmost importance as its own objective, but also in our fight against anti-Semitism. 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. Information and education are key elements in our fight against Antisemitism. The EU will continue to show resolve and to step up its efforts to promote education, combat bigotry and protect EU Jewish citizens."


Katharina Von Schnurbein, European Commission's coordinator on combatting Antisemitism said: "As less and less survivors are with us, Holocaust education and remembrance will change and the voices of 2nd and 3rd generation survivors will become more important. In fact, we are all called to keep the memory alive. Independent research such as performed by the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure is key to preventing us from the slippery slope of revisionism. For Europe, coming to grips with the past is essential to mastering the challenges of the presence."



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.



Press contact:  


Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel


Sharon Offenberger +972 544 282213

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