The project ”Political discourse without discrimination!” will be implemented by the E-Civis Association, together with the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) and the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD). Through this project proposal we aim to address the issue of hate speech that is often used in electoral campaigns and we aim to monitor and analyze this form of speech during the 2014 European Parliament Elections, to implement an awareness-raising campaign and to improve the legislation governing electoral campaigns. To be able to propose realistic solutions in order to prevent and combat hate speech, the project will monitor and analyze hate speech and will inform relevant actors of the results. The main target group of the project will be the MEP candidates and their campaign staff. Additionally, news editors and NGOs active in the field of combating discrimination will also be targeted. Among the beneficiaries of the project are public institutions such as the AEP and the CNCD, students who will participate in the monitoring process and news editors who will benefit of being trained and informed in ways of preventing and combating hate speech
Summary of project results
Although Romania is one of the countries that decided to use penal instruments to prevent and fight hate speech, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, the number of such incidents have increased from one year to another, according to the petitions registered at the National Council against Discrimination. Moreover, hate speech is also used by politicians especially, but not only, during electoral campaigns. One of the major institutional problems in fighting hate speech, especially during electoral campaigns, is the fact that the National Council against Discrimination takes a long procedure in judging discrimination cases (around 3 months). E-CIVIS together with the project partners, the Permanent Electoral Authority and the National Council against Discrimination, worked together and identified a practical solution to the problem: to give electoral bodies the responsibility to decide on petitions regarding hate speech and discrimination during electoral campaigns. This way, the effects of hate speech on electors can be reduced by banning any hate speech electoral materials as fast as possible. The most relevant outcomes of the project were the trainings undertook by the promoter directed towards journalists and how they can better counteract hate speech during the electoral campaigns, the brochure Electoral Campaigns without discrimination that was directed towards political parties and their members, the comparative study on legislation sanctioning hate speech and discrimination, undertook for the civil society through desk monitoring and data analysis. The major success of this project is that the three partners, an NGO and two public institutions joint efforts and managed to modify the electoral legislation by introducing a new responsibility for the electoral bodies that will now be able to fight hate speech faster than before. It is worth mentioning, also, that these two public institutions collaborated now, for the first time, with the help of an NGO.
Summary of bilateral results