How are African Americans seen in Spain

Discrimination in Europe : Blacks more disadvantaged in Germany

Black people in Germany are exposed to degradation and violence more often than in the rest of Europe. This is one of the results of the latest study by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) to inquire about experiences of discrimination among minorities in the 28 member states of the EU. While on average just under a quarter (24 percent) of people with a family background in sub-Saharan Africa reported such experiences in the past twelve months, a third (33 percent) of them who live in Germany complain about it.

The highest value is recorded in Luxembourg, half of whose black population said they were treated badly, insulted or even attacked. In Great Britain, the lowest figure in the EU, only 15 percent say this. People with a Turkish background, on the other hand, complain much less often about discrimination in Germany (18 percent) than in the Netherlands, with 39 percent, or in Austria with 28 percent. The EU average is 20 percent.

Europe treats Africans and Roma the worst

The study under the abbreviation "EU-Midis II" (European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey) is a slightly expanded repetition of Midis I, which the Fundamental Rights Agency surveyed and published ten years ago. The aim is to gain more permanent knowledge over the years, said Rossalina Latcheva, who works in the agency's surveys and statistics and presented the German results in Berlin on Tuesday. In addition to improvements or deteriorations, the FRA also wants to determine "trends" in discrimination or to find out what effect European and national anti-discrimination laws have.

At first, the findings are sobering ten years after the first study. There is no real progress. What Midis II found out about the situation was "clear and frustratingly stubborn", Michael O'Flaherty, the head of the Vienna-based EU agency, sums up in his foreword. He also warns of the consequences for the integration of minorities. Experiencing discrimination, hatred and violence "causes people's trust in state institutions to wane and undermines their sense of belonging to the country in which they live".

The groups affected have also remained the same for a decade. As before, across the EU, people from North Africa, Sub-Saharan and Roma saw themselves the most discriminated against. The same applies to the places of injustice: According to this, experiences of discrimination are most common when looking for work and at work, followed by problems when looking for accommodation. There are already some studies for Germany that confirm this very clearly.

It takes strong institutions

Obviously, it is not enough to pass laws prohibiting unequal treatment, says the FRA report. These laws have existed in the EU more and more since 2000. In Germany, some EU requirements were implemented in the new General Equal Treatment Act in 2006, and in the same year the independent "Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency" was established, which monitors its implementation and advises those affected on discrimination educates and makes suggestions against it.

Christine L├╝ders, who headed the position for eight years and whose mandate ends in April, called on Tuesday to sharpen the instruments to combat inequality. This includes, for example, equipping committed offices with sufficient staff across the board and granting qualified associations the right to classify by law: "It must no longer be the case that every person concerned has to fight for their rights in the event of discrimination alone in court."

Strong institutions seem to be a useful tool in this regard. FRA expert Latcheva reported in Berlin that in Spain, for example, whose anti-discrimination agency is particularly weak - it is subordinate to a ministry and has not been active for two years - the willingness to report discrimination and to take action against it is noticeably low.

For the Midis II study, 25,515 members of ethnic minorities in all 28 EU member states were interviewed. Addressed were people who define themselves as Roma or who themselves or their parents came from Turkey, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In Slovenia and Poland, FRA surveyed immigrants over the past ten years without looking at the country of origin. The Russian minority was included in the Baltic states.

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