[JURIST] The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) [official website] said in a report [text; PDF] released Monday that incidents of anti-Semitism [JURIST news archive] have increased in the EU since December 2008 after declining in 2007 and 2008. The report found "an increase in anti-Semitic activity between 2001 and 2002, between 2003 and 2004 and again in 2006, but a decrease in 2007 and 2008." The FRA, however, said it lacked sufficient data to establish whether anti-Semitism had increased or decreased between 2001 and 2008. The report compiled trends in anti-Semitism by country and the methods that each country used to track those trends. The report concluded, however, that anti-Semitic incidents are under-reported in Europe and that only France, Sweden, and Germany collect enough data to observe trends within individual nations. FRA head Morten Kjaerum speculated that the situation in the Middle East and the global financial crisis could be responsible for the recent increase, but the FRA report itself cautioned that
…due to the overall paucity of data, only speculative conclusions can be drawn for the European Union, as a whole, as to how different political developments in the Middle East could influence attitudes and behaviour of Arab and Muslim European communities, as well as the rhetoric and activities of the extreme and far- right and to some extend the extreme left.
The FRA said it will closely monitor the situation and issue an update in 2010.
In November, the German parliament passed a resolution [JURIST report] requiring the government to track reports of anti-Semitism in the country and fund education to combat the problem. The Council of Europe released a report [JURIST report] in July emphasizing the need for European countries to examine their human rights records. Monday's report is the fifth update of the FRA's 2004 "Manifestations of anti-Semitism in the EU" [text, PDF].