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Human Rights First:Germany Conflicted: The Struggle Between Xenophobia and Tolerance.

February 06, 2017 "Germany is at a tipping point as it heads into important national elections in 2017. Hate crimes, particularly those associated with xenophobia, have increased drastically—from 5,858 cases in 2014 to 10,373 in 2015. From 2014 to 2015 crimes against asylum refugee shelters, including violent attacks, more than quintupled. Police reported three hundred crimes against asylum shelters in the first quarter of 2016, exceeding the total number in 2014 and on par with the elevated levels of 2015. Germany has been a leader within Europe on the refugee crisis, maintaining a welcoming policy toward those fleeing violence and persecution. However, the uneven implementation of this policy has exacerbated existing social divides. Because the German government failed in important ways to adequately prepare the country to receive refugees, many in Germany perceive that the situation has spiraled out of control. New far-right parties and movements such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) have emerged in the past few years by capitalizing on Euroskepticism and xenophobic fear. Supporters of these groups’ ideologies are primarily responsible for a surge in hate crimes. In 2015 the Ministry of the Interior reported that right-wing extremists committed 90 percent of all hate crimes—including 96 percent of xenophobic hate crimes—91 percent of antisemitic hate crimes, and 98 percent of racist hate crimes.While hate crimes committed by left-wing extremists increased from 94 in 2014 to 96 in 2015, hate crimes committed by right-wing extremists increased from 4,983 to 9,426.Those on the far-right were also responsible for 90 percent of the offenses against asylum shelters. As support for far-right movements grow along with expressions of hatred, Germans’ acceptance of inclusive, liberal democracy is perhaps counterintuitively becoming more widespread. Several factors explain this complicated and seemingly contradictory state. Germany’s post-World War II history continues to inform and give shape to current trends. The connective power and relative anonymity of the Internet has proved a powerful force for degrading Germany’s longstanding postwar taboo against publicly espousing xenophobic, ultra-nationalist, and racist views. AfD, PEGIDA, and likeminded groups have both benefitted from and contributed to evolving social mores, resulting in a climate in which Germans who nurture intolerant views in private are now more willing to express them publicly. Thus, while surveys do not show a greater portion of Germans evincing intolerant views, those who do hold such views are becoming more connected, public, politically active, tech-savvy, and accepting of violence. Institutional discrimination, a persistent problem, also gives a green light to hatred, catalyzing violence. While Germany’s history makes it unique, its struggle against xenophobia-fueled illiberalism is increasingly representative of trends buffeting Europe and the United States. Across the Atlantic —in societies roiled by social change, globalization, and terrorism—demagogic leaders and far-right movements are magnifying and leveraging hatred toward ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. Evidence of this trend can be seen in France where Marine LePen’s anti-Islam, anti-refugee, and anti-European Union (E.U.) positions have contributed to a cycle of violence there, and in the recent U.S. presidential race that fueled hatred, helping lead to a surprising victory for President Donald Trump."

Report from the European Commission: Fifth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND THE COUNCIL

Fifth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union COM/2017/0203 final

Why a new European Agenda on Security? The EU and its Member States face several new and complex security threats, highlighting the need for further synergies and closer cooperation at all levels. Many of today's security concerns originate from instability in the EU's immediate neighbourhood and changing forms of radicalisation, violence and terrorism. Threats are becoming more varied and more international, as well as increasingly cross-border and cross-sectorial in nature. These threats require an effective and coordinated response at European level. The European Agenda on Security sets out how the Union can bring added value to support the Member States in ensuring security. The European Agenda on SecuritySearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN ••• implements the Political Guidelines of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the area of security and replaces the previous Internal Security Strategy (2010-2014). What are the priorities of the European Agenda on Security for the next 5 years? Whilst the EU must remain vigilant to other emerging threats that also require a coordinated EU response, the Agenda prioritises terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime as interlinked areas with a strong cross-border dimension, where EU action can make a real difference. The Agenda builds on the actions undertaken in the last years, under the previous internal security strategy, thus ensuring consistent and continued action. The EU has already put in place a range of legal, practical, and support tools to underpin a European area of internal security. Now it is time to work better and more closely together. The success of the tools that the Union has put in place in recent years relies, first of all, on responsibility-sharing, mutual trust and effective cooperation between all actors involved, EU institutions and agencies, Member States and national authorities. The European Agenda on Security aims to strengthen the tools that the EU provides to national law enforcement authorities to fight terrorism and cross-border crime. In particular, the Agenda focuses on improving information exchanges and operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities. It also mobilises a number of EU instruments to support actions through training, funding and research and innovation. Finally, the Agenda sets out a number of targeted actions to be taken at EU level, to step up the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime. Tackling security threats whilst upholding European values To maximise the benefits of existing EU measures and, where necessary, deliver new and complementary actions, all actors involved have to work together based on five key principles: ◾Ensure full compliance with fundamental rights; ◾Guarantee more transparency, accountability and democratic control; ◾Ensure better application and implementation of existing EU legal instruments; ◾Provide a more joined-up inter-agency and a cross-sectorial approach; ◾Bring together all internal and external dimensions of security.

UCL Department of Security and Crime Science: Europol Lecture

Date: Thursday 2nd March 201 Pre-presentation drinks reception: 16:30 Presentation: 17:00 followed by Q&A session The Department of Security and Crime Science and the Organised Crime Research Network are pleased to announce a special presentation as part of its programme of work around tackling organised crime and terrorism. Mr Wainwright was appointed Director of Europol in April 2009. He was reappointed for a second term in 2013, having overseen Europol’s transition from intergovernmental organisation to EU agency status in 2010, ensured Europol’s pivotal position in the new EU Policy Cycle for serious and organised crime from 2011, and secured the establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol in 2013. Under his command Europol has also established the new European Counter Terrorism Centre and European Migrant Smuggling Centre, both in 2016. As the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol has a mission to support its Member States in preventing and combatting all forms of serious international organised crime and terrorism. In his presentation Rob Wainwright will provide a number of insights into the daily workings of Europol and how it works with member states. Mr. Wainwright will also provide topical and timely commentary on the impact of Brexit on the UKs relationship with Europol and the implications for collective security. This invitation is open to all members of the Department of Security and Crime Science and invited guests.