von LeyenBrussels, October 7th, 2021 – The European Commission has presented its first ever comprehensive EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life. In a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen noted that “Europe can only prosper when its Jewish communities feel safe and prosper”. Vice-President Margaritis Schinas commented on the strategy by saying: “We owe this to those who perished in the Holocaust, we owe it to the survivors, and we owe it to future generations.”

In a separate statement on Wednesday, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell commended the European Commission for its unprecedented commitment towards a Europe free of antisemitism.

“Whereas a world free of antisemitism may still be a distant dream, this new EU strategy has the potential of seriously reducing the historic plague of antisemitism, thus making Europe more safe and secure for its Jewish communities and indirectly for all its citizens. In this noble mission the European Coalition for Israel is willing to take its share of responsibility as the only non-Jewish advocacy group fighting antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, accredited to the European Union in Brussels.”

ECI notes that the EU strategy is not limited to policy actions within the European Union but includes all external relations. The document states that: “The Commission will ensure that EU external funds may not be misallocated to activities that incite hatred and violence, including against Jewish people. It will step up engagement in the education sector to promote full compliance of education material with UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, co-existence, and non-violence.”

“This is a strategy document which we as European citizens can take great pride in”, Sandell said and congratulated the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and the EU Coordinator on Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein for the historic document.