From hate to harmony : encircling, approaching, and addressing hate crimes within the pan-European human rights framework

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Gunthel, Natalie
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Over the last decades, “hate crimes” have emerged as strong discourse of interest across Europe, increasingly subjected to European policy-making and law-making – both at a state level but also, importantly, at a pan-European institutional level. Namely, the Europeanization of the hate crime discourse has been evidenced by growing efforts of the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU) to address hate crimes as a shared European challenge, a human rights concern, and an area in need of harmonious European-level responses. However, much like domestic state-level approaches, the institutional-level approaches have regularly been accused of being inefficient, “piecemeal”, and out of tune. Departing from these allegations, this paper explores European endeavors of encircling, approaching, and addressing hate crimes against the backdrop of the pan-European human rights framework. It acknowledges that the three European institutions have in fact made important contributions in trying to improve the addressing of hate crimes in Europe. However, the paper also excavates that the road to European harmony remains long and paved with many gaps and challenges. Accordingly, it suggests that we critically assess the links we draw between human rights and hate crime.
Second semester University: Université de Strasbourg
hate crimes, Europe, Council of Europe, OSCE, European Union, human rights