EU proceedings initiated: Germany must do more to combat hate speech

Status: 02.12.2021 5:08 p.m.

The EU Commission is of the opinion that the denial or trivialization of international crimes is not adequately combated in Germany under criminal law. Infringement proceedings have now been initiated.

The EU Commission has opened treaty infringement proceedings against Germany because it allegedly did not do enough against hate speech. It is about public denial or gross trivialization of international crimes, said the Commission in Brussels. Similar allegations have been opened against Luxembourg and Hungary.

According to the Commission, all three countries have not fully or correctly implemented the EU provisions on combating racism and xenophobia through criminal law.

EU framework directive enables penalties to be punished

An EU framework guideline provides that serious forms of racism and xenophobia such as incitement to violence or hatred can be punished with effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties throughout the European Union.

“At the moment, a certain form of hate speech mentioned in the framework decision is not criminalized in Germany and Hungary. Under German law, public denial or the gross trivialization of international law crimes are not criminalized,” said the commission.

Action must be taken within two months

The Member States must now take the necessary measures and remedy the deficiencies identified within two months. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to take the next step in the infringement procedure.

Infringement proceedings deal with violations of EU law. Most of the time they are initiated by the EU Commission. They happen again and again, can end up at the European Court of Justice and also lead to fines – but the dispute is usually settled beforehand.

source site