Study on hate speech
Study on The European legal framework on hate speech, blasphemy and freedom of expression (2015)
Client: European Parliament
Following the terrorist attacks in France and Denmark, a political consensus emerged about the necessity of addressing the threat of violent radicalisation and further terrorist attacks. The European Parliament, in its commitment to accurately map the suitability of the EU legislative framework in the field of hate speech, blasphemy and freedom of expression, launched a study, which aimed to:
- Provide the European Parliament with an overview of the effectiveness of applicable legislation, especially in the light of the spread of hate crime and hate speech across Europe, the rising levels of online crimes and the concerns raised about the border lines of hate crimes with certain human rights.
- Provide the European Parliament with information on the existence of blasphemy laws in the Member States and the relationship of the said laws with some fundamental rights of the European Union. This will include the assessment of the extent to which such laws are applied in practice.
- Based on conclusions reached about hate crime/hate speech and blasphemy laws, developing recommendations for the EU on how to ensure that responses given to hate speech, hate crime and blasphemy are effective and are in compliance with the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- Developing some guidelines for the European Parliament on dealing with hate speech and hate crime within the EU institutions.
Milieu was responsible for the whole study and in line with the above objectives, carried out the following tasks:
- Delivery of 14 country reports;
- Development of guidelines for the EP;
- Analysis of the suitability of the current legislative framework to address hate crime and hate speech on the one hand and blasphemy on the other hand.