A hearing on Afrophobia took place on 20th February, in the European Parliament, Brussels. This event which gathered around 200 persons physically and hundreds virtually through the web streaming, was a fundamental step towards the recognition of Afrophobia as a specific form of racism that affects People of African Descent and Black Europeans (PAD/BE) in Europe. As it was raised during the debates, this recognition is a question of democracy and human rights and must lead to the implementation of progressive policies and initiatives to improve the situation of PAD/BE in Europe. The fact that several hundred people mobilized around this event shows the strong determination and the wide popular support to act against Afrophobia in Europe. The new European Parliament and European Commission will have to tackle this problem head on!

We are now happy to share with you the report of this event that gave evidence that a lot of challenges are still to overcome, but that many people, academics, politicians, activists, citizens, are strongly committed to fight for the rights of PAD/BE.

This hearing is only one example of successful initiatives that are being organized to advocatepolitically in favor of a more diverse and equal Europe. There is still a long way to go to reach a racism-free Europe and the next key-date will be the European Parliament elections in the coming weeks. This is an impossible-to-miss occasion for civil society to put forward its recommendations and demands, as it is being done by European black advocacy groups through their catalogue of demands on People of African Descent and Black Europeans, or by ENAR through its 7 equality demands that candidates can endorse. We strongly advise you to use these tools available to ask your candidates to commit to them and be in touch with us would you require any support.

Indeed, these elections are taking place in a particular climate of increasing xenophobic speeches and violence and there is a real risk that more candidates who are holding discourses and proposing policies profoundly harmful for equality and progress, will be elected. To illustrate that and put pressure on parties, the ENAR-ILGA monitoring campaign of hateful speeches of EU candidates published its first report. You can be involved by making sure you report any incidence of hate speech by candidates here:http://enar-eu.org/Campaign-with-NoHateEP2014.

This is now our responsibility to mobilize to be able to continue giving voice to equality and diversity!

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