Event: Presentation of the PECAO activities

“Presentation of the PECAO activities and synthesis research from 10 European countries”


Online Hate speech has been steadily on the rise during the past decade, especially during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Making it appearance known at the highest level of the public administration of some Member States, where transformation into policy is just one step away. The liberal stance that was built towards hate speech on basic assumptions that the state and the major society would uphold their democratic standards and values under all circumstances, and distance themselves from hate speakers, has proven to be wrong as many different societal and minority groups continue to be targets of hate speech.

According to the Fundamental Rights Agency, 1 in 3 Roma are victims of harassment and 20% of non-Roma would not like to have a Roma colleague. As identified in the EC Communication ‘Midterm review of the EU framework for national Roma integration strategies’ (2017), antigypsyism goes beyond the legal notion of discrimination. In essence, antigypsyism is the root cause of exclusion of Roma people. It has many different dimensions and manifestations, including hate-speech in public, media, and political narratives, expressed stereotypes, hate-crime, discrimination in school, employment, health and housing and structural antigypsyism.

The mid-term review showed very little progress and highlighted the importance of focusing on antigypsyism in the next Framework. It confirmed that fighting antigypsyism by targeting majority society is a pre-condition for the success of any Roma inclusion intervention. Also, the EP adopted a report on the ‘Fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism’ in 2017, highlighting persistent antigypsyism across Europe, despite the efforts undertaken under the EU Roma Framework and the EU legislative framework against discrimination, hate speech and hate crime.

Hate speech as a manifestation of antigypsyism needs particular attention because of its multiplier effect:  it influences public opinion, fuels tension, and paves the way for discrimination and hate crimes. Online media plays a particular role in spreading and inciting hate speech. It strengthens stereotypes, uses offensive language, denies, or trivializes antigypsyism. Through social media hate speech reaches millions of people and allows perpetrators to anonymously incite hatred and violence.

ERGO network therefore through the PECAO project supported by DG JUSTICE and Google.org addresses the need to better counter antigypsyist hate speech online. This includes more specifically:

  • Need to better recognise antigypsyist hate speech: As ‘the most accepted form of racism’, subtle antigypsyist hate speech often remains undetected and is therefore not reported and deleted.
  • Need to better report antigypsyist hate speech: There is little awareness of existing institutional structures and tools to protect citizens from hate speech.
  • Need to better monitor hate speech in order to better understand the problem and support the development of policies to counter hate speech.
  • Need to develop better policies that recognise antigypsyism as bias motivation and tackle institutional antigypsyism.

Draft Agenda

“Presentation of the PECAO activities and synthesis research from 10 European countries”

Conference room, Mundo-B

Rue d’Edimbourg 26, 1050 Brussels

05th April 2022, 14:00 – 16:00

13:30                   Registration of the participants

14:00                   Opening of the event:

  • Mustafa Jakupov, policy and project coordinator ERGO network, “Peer education to counter antigypsyist online hate speech” project funded by DG Justice and Google.org

14:05                  Welcoming and Introductory speeches:

  • Gabriela HRABANOVA, Executive Director ERGO Network
  • MEP Romeo FRANZ, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Lavinia BANU, Policy officer at Non-Discrimination and Roma Coordination Unit, DG Justice and Consumer
  • Mr. Bagryan MAKSIMOV, Integro Association

14:30                  Tackling antigypsyist hate speech through peer education

15:00                   Comfort Break

15:15                  Monitoring and reporting antigypsyist hate speech: European Synthesis Report

  • Ileana ROTARU, assoc. prof. PhD habil. of West University of Timisoara, research expert of Nevo Parudimos Association

16:00                  Social Media Campaigning as a tool

  • Annabel CARBALLO, European Project Manager Coordinator at FAGiC

16:15                   Combatting antigypsyist hate speech through advocacy

  • Mustafa JAKUPOV, policy and project coordinator at ERGO network               

16.30                  Closing remarks

  • Giana FRANCESCUTTI, Programme manager, Google.org, EMEA
  • Tomasso CHIAMPARINO, EU Code of Conduct to prevent and counter the spread of illegal hate speech online


This project is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020)

  This project received funding from the Google.Org Impact Challenge on Safety in the framework of ERGO Network’ project Peer education to counter antigypsyist online hate speech.

Event: Presentation of the PECAO activities – ERGO Network

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