Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes represent a common concern for the whole European Union (EU) and no member state has a clean record when it comes to them, Vice-President of the EU Commission Viviane Reding said today.

Reding took part in a European Parliament debate devoted to strengthening the fight against hate crime, racism and xenophobia.

The EU justice commissioner cited a recent study by the Union's Fundamental rights' agency (FRA) which found that hate crime is a more serious problem in Europe than often recorded. In particular, the report said that hate crimes are "a daily reality" throughout the EU, which not only "harm the victim, they are generally prejudicial to fundamental rights, namely to human dignity and with respect to non-discrimination".

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