Countering hate speech

All European countries are committed to countering discrimination, including hate speech and hate crime. Yet all too many tragic attacks in recent years highlight growing intolerance against minorities.

Surveys and reports from international bodies like the Council of Europe and the EU reveal rising xenophobia and discrimination based on religious beliefs, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.

In response, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are taking a strong stance against hate speech - using the EEA and Norway Grants as a tool both to raise awareness of the issue and its risks for democracy, as well as promote tolerance and multicultural awareness. Challenging intolerance and promoting democracy, fundamental rights and equality are values that sit squarely at the heart of the Grants.

The Grants support a range of initiatives to tackle hate speech online and offline in the various funding sectors, mainly through civil society and the NGO programmes.

NGO programmes have been set up in all beneficiary countries and actively address hate speech as well as tackle extremism, racism and xenophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism. NGOs can apply directly to programmes in their country for funding for projects that set out to counter or raise consciousness of hate speech. A total of 305 projects related to hate speech have received funding.

We also work to counter hatred, protect minorities and strengthen fundamental rights through various EEA and Norway Grants programmes in other areas - migration and asylum, gender equality and gender-based violence, trafficking, cultural heritage and diversity, social inclusion, fairer justice systems and research and education.

Working in partnership

No hate heart

The Grants are a strategic partner of the Council of Europe’s Europe-wide NO HATE SPEECH movement - a campaign devised by young people to raise awareness of the issue of online hate speech.

All of our NGO programmes are actively engaged in the campaign which runs until the end of 2014. Find out what the NGO programmes in the 15 beneficiary countries are doing:

Read more about partnership with the Council of Europe

2012-2013

  • Awareness-raisning of hate speech during training for all NGO Programme Operators throughout year

2013-2014

  • Youth visual art competition on hate speech Sept 2013-February 2014 (Latvian NGO programme)
  • Training for youth bloggers in many of the beneficiary countries
  • Ongoing support for NO HATE SPEECH MOVEMENT campaign

2015-2016

  • Series of country-wide workshops to help NGOs develop activities around human rights and tolerance (Hungarian NGO programme)
  • Ongoing implementation of projects to combat hate speech through NGO and other Grant programmes
  • Training for youth bloggers in Croatia, Greece, Latvia and Romania