ATHENS — European Commission Vice President and Commissioner on Promoting Our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, on Friday participated in an online seminar organised by the Hellenic Parliament on "Developing a Comprehensive Strategy Against Racism, Intolerance and Hate Crimes."
Schinas noted that the national action plan supported by the European Commission via the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme was a very important step for Greece: "It represents something more than a sum of policies and action. In practice, it translates into systematic protection and promotion of democracy, human rights and individual freedoms – the core, in other words, of the Greek Constitution and of the European Treaties."
He pointed out that the rights of individuals – including the right to belong to minorities – were unequivocally protected by the EU Treaty and were at the heart of the European way of life, adding that the defence of these European values both within and beyond its borders, "is our mission".
"For the present European Commission, it has been one of the top political priorities from the start. The fight against discrimination is a central goal of this effort. Discrimination of every form – including gender, race, colour, creed, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity – all these are contrary to everything the EU stands for and expressly forbidden by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights," he said.
The Commissioner also highlighted EU strategy against antisemitism, saying that Europe must not forget the Holocaust or increasing antisemitic attacks.