The Active European Citizens against Hate Speech European seminar

PATRIR was taking part in an incredibly powerful and important event on 5th of October – the Active European Citizens against Hate Speech European seminar, bringing together practitioners and people from across Europe working to challenge hate in our communities and stand up for vibrant, democratic, healthy and inclusive communities. This was the first event within the EUAct project, implemented by the consortium of 7 different partners from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

We see a growing wave of hate rising across Europe and around much of the world, but it is not reflective of what the majority of our citizens and human beings around the world want. Still: we cannot be complacent. If we want to build healthier communities, communities where people are safe, where people are respected regardless of our identity, culture, gender or beliefs, we need to stand up together, to be active citizens to build together the future we want – for our communities, our countries, for Europe and the world.

The Active European Citizens against Hate Speech European seminar was a very inspiring and powerful event, bringing together practitioners to share experiences, learn from each other and support each other in our work in our communities, countries and more widely.

During the interactive seminar we looked at the latest trends and developments in regard to hate speech in the European Union and 6 European countries in particular (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia), learned how hate speech promotes Euroscepticism and threatens democratic values, while also discussing what is needed to combat it effectively and strengthen democratic values. Different experts and stakeholders also shared good practices on youth work approach in combating hate speech and civil participation of vulnerable groups in the prevention of hate speech/promotion of tolerance.

Keynote speakers of the seminar were Anhelita Kamenska, director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and expert in hate speech and hate crimes issues and Nicholas Startin, Head of Department for Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath, UK, co-founder of the UACES research network on Euroscepticism.

On 8th of October we continued with the kick-of meeting of all project partners to discuss the outcomes of the seminar and planning further project events.