Racial Violence and Bias Plague EU, Report Says; Scope of Problem Hard to Gauge as Many Nations Don't Collect Data

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Byline: David R. Sands, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Racial violence and ethnic discrimination in housing, education, employment and law pose major problems throughout the 25-nation European Union, according to a new report released yesterday by the bloc's racism-monitoring agency.

Tracking the scope of the problem is difficult because many European nations fail to provide even basic data on racial violence and other forms of discrimination, according to the latest annual survey by the Vienna, Austria-based European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia.

"Certain immigrant and ethnic-minority groups continue to be particularly vulnerable to racist and xenophobic victimization both at the hands of the general public and at the hands of public officials," the report said.

Vulnerable groups include "asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants, Roma, Jews and Muslims."

"In spite of some heartening examples of good practice, I stand here today unable to say that there has been a substantial improvement with regard to racism and xenophobia in the EU member states," Chairwoman Anastasia Crickley told reporters in Vienna.

Long-standing problems of dealing with minorities across Europe have been greatly exacerbated in recent years by an influx of Muslim migrant workers across the continent. The presence of large Muslim communities, often in poor, segregated enclaves, has produced political, economic and cultural clashes.

The monitoring center said it is difficult to judge the effectiveness of anti-racial programs because many EU states fail to collect adequate data. …