EP Wants Netherlands to Condemn Xenophobic Website

Bulgaria in EU | March 15, 2012, Thursday // 14:55|  views

A close up view of a page of a website set up by the right-wing Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) 14 February 2012. EPA/BGNES

The European Parliament has demanded that the Dutch government condemn far-right PVV's notorious website which invites complaints against citizens from Central and Eastern Europe living in the Netherlands.

In a resolution a passed by a show of hands on Thursday, MEPs said the Dutch authorities should investigate whether the invitation to post complaints about Central and Eastern Europeans living in the Netherlands is an incitement to hatred and discrimination, and that EU government leaders should formally condemn it as undermining the rights of EU workers.

MEPs also contended that the site goes against the fundamental European values of human dignity, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights and is an "ill-intentioned initiative" aimed at creating divisions within the society and obtaining political gains.

The Parliament specifically urged the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to condemn and distance himself from this "deplorable" initiative. The Dutch government should not turn a blind eye to PVV policies that contradict basic EU values, MEPs declared.

The resolution says that the Dutch government's commitment to European integration has significantly decreased in recent years, as shown by its position on issues such as enlarging the Schengen area and the free movement of workers.

Workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have had a positive impact on EU Member States' economies and have made a significant contribution to sustained economic growth in the EU, European Parliament has underlined.

MEPs also stressed that many citizens, political parties, the media, employers and civil society leaders have condemned the PVV site, launching counter-initiatives such as a website on which Dutch citizens can report positive experiences with Polish people.

The European Parliament has called on the European Commission and the Council to do their utmost to stop the spread of xenophobic attitudes like those expressed on this website and to ensure that the EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia is properly enforced in all EU countries.

The site, titled "Complaints about Central and Eastern Europeans," boasts slogans such as "Do you have problems with people from Central and Eastern Europe?" and "Have you lost your job because of a Pole, a Bulgarian, a Romanian? We want to know." It also displays media headlines reporting how Eastern Europeans commit more and more crime.

The PVV party's website has drawn wide criticism from Central and Eastern Europeans, including Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry and the country's MEPs.

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Tags: xenophobic website, Dutch, the Netherlands, Council of Europe, European parliament, MEPs, Geert Wilders, Freedom Party, PVV


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