Stories about a ‘Statute of Tolerance’ drafted by an EU lobbying group have floated around in the blogosphere but have escaped the notice of mainstream newspapers. Yet it could be one of the most troubling items of news to emerge out of Brussels, so the traditional media’s lack of interest is very startling.
The Statute is a nasty piece of work which threatens to undermine free speech. If it is adopted by the EU, it would enable governments to monitor anyone who promotes ‘intolerance’. As this article on Trending Central notes, the soon-to-be EU President Martin Schultz has spoken in favour of making ‘tolerance mandatory across the EU’.
The document contains a raft of illiberal provisions, including re-education for transgressing juveniles. It obligates public broadcasters to ‘devote a prescribed percentage of their programmes to promoting a climate of tolerance.’ It also legislates so communities that are judged to be ‘vulnerable’ are to be treated differently from the rest of society, which would also erode the principle of rule of law.
This is a very vaguely defined set of proposals which seems geared to be used as a club against those who oppose the EU. It is no surprise that Brussels is interested about getting a law like this in the statute books. If you destroy free speech then Euroscepticism itself can be viewed as a crime. This plan would give governments a lot of power to suppress political opposition to the EU project and we should all be very concerned about it becoming law.
Acting Campaign Manager