Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has said the EU hate crime initiative a step in the right direction.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “In Fianna Fáil we have been consistent advocates for taking action on hate crime, I have twice introduced legislation in the Oireachtas on the matter.
“Hate speech and hate crime have seen a sharp rise across Europe and have become a particularly serious and worrying phenomenon – offline and online. Common EU action is needed to tackle this EU-wide challenge.
“However, currently there is no legal basis to criminalise hate speech and hate crime at EU level. The existing list of EU crimes in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) needs to be extended to ensure minimum common rules on how to define criminal offences and sanctions applicable in all Member States.
“This initiative is the first step in the process of extending the list of EU crimes. The next step is for Member States to approve the initiative, before the Commission can present a legislative proposal.”