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Bairbre de Brún welcomes decision to re-start work on combating racism and xenophobia

7 September, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has welcomed news that the Finnish EU Presidency is to re-start work on the Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia, which has been stalled at EU level for some years now.

She made her comments today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, having supported this important measure at EU level since her election in 2004.

Ms de Brún said:

"In June this year I stressed the importance of having the European Council adopt the 2001 Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia and I called on the Finnish Presidency to re-start work on this with all urgency. We were told at that time that one of the member states had entered a serious reservation and that negotiations were stalled as a result. The Finnish Presidency today informed the European Parliament that the member state in question has since withdrawn that reservation.

"I welcome the commitment from the Finnish EU Presidency that they will now re-start this work and bring the matter to the relevant working committees with a view to seeking to adopt the Framework decision as soon as possible.

"We live in increasingly diverse societies and the question of how we deal with this has been raised again and again, particularly in light of racist, xenophobic and sectarian attacks. A common framework such as that proposed by the European Commission in 2001 needs a high priority at this time.

"However, I am disappointed to hear that the Finnish presidency has no plans to bring forward work in relation to homophobic hate crime and I would urge the German Government to advance this equally important issue when they take over the EU presidency in January 2007." Ends

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