Europe sees 'unrelenting rise' in xenophobic populism, watchdog warns

Published 22.06.2018 15:39

Europe is seeing an "unrelenting rise" in xenophobic populism and hate speech, a Council of Europe expert group warned on Friday.

Populists have portrayed migration as a threat to social cohesion and security, often overlooking "evidence-based facts," the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance said in its annual report.

The expert group warned that security concerns were being exploited "to justify huge trade-offs in fundamental rights of migrants and other vulnerable groups."

The experts said that while several European countries had devoted major efforts to integration of refugees, especially in the fields of housing, education and employment, there remained an over-emphasis on migration control.

Governments should "change their narrative to a more balanced and fact-based discourse that emphasizes the positive contribution of well-governed migration," commission chairman Jean-Paul Lehners said.

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