Combating hate speech online – Campaign launch 22 March

The EEA and Norway Grants have entered into a strategic partnership with the Council of Europe to promote tolerance and fundamental rights. Activities countering hatred are encouraged through the EEA NGO programmes.

During the last few years we have registered continued and renewed violations of fundamental rights, including physical and verbal attacks on minority groups, migrants, and on organisations defending human rights in Europe.

To address these concerns, the EEA and Norway Grants have joined forces with the Council of Europe and support the No Hate Speech Movement.   This campaign against hate speech online starts on 22 March 2013 and will run through to 2014.

The objective is to take action against hate speech online in all its form – while respecting freedom of expression. The No Hate Speech Movement is based on human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.

EEA Grants support NGO projects
NGOs in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain can apply for project funding to take action against hate speech through the EEA Grants NGO Programmes.

Support to civil society is one of the key priorities of the EEA Grants, with NGO programmes worth a total of €147 million.

Promoting democratic values including human rights and good governance, combating discrimination, intolerance, gender inequality and social exclusion, are central to the programmes. At least 10% of the funding is targeted to children- and youth-driven organisations and/or activities.

NGOs are also eligible for funding under many of the other thematic EEA and Norway Grants programmes. This makes the Grants one of the prime funding schemes for civil society in Central and Southern Europe.

What is hate speech?
Hate speech, as defined by the Council of Europe, covers all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin.