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Tomorrow, an international work group will present the European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance. The Statute gives the European countries the principles and the recommendations for introducing the promotion of tolerance into their national legislation. 

“The Statute concerns issues of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance, expressions of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in many European countries,” said Estonian legal expert Rein Müllerson who was part of the five-member work group. “It stresses the need to expand tolerance in European societies, and discusses the limits of tolerance. Not all ideologies and practices can be acceptable in European societies.” 

The Statute provides the definition of tolerance, describes the general principles of tolerance and punishable activities, and gives examples of expressions that are insulting to various social groups. The Statute also proposes specific provisions on education and mass media which could be introduced in national legislations for promoting tolerance. 

The work group was created by the European Council for Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), led by former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. In addition to Müllerson, other members of the group are Yoram Dinstein (Israel), Ugo Genesio (Italy), Daniel Thurer (Switzerland) and Rudiger Wolfrum (Germany). 

Müllerson said that the work group had finished its original project in the end of 2012 and has presented it in the European Parliament as well as to the legislators of various countries (Poland, Hungary, Italy, Croatia). “The purpose of these discussions has been to receive feedback from the legislators as well as from the societies more broadly,” he added. “Feedback for the project has generally been positive. The work group has taken the critical comments into account and has amended and corrected their document accordingly.” 

The Statute developed by the work group is presented in the Riigikogu Conference Hall on 11 June at 11 a.m. by Rein Müllerson, Yoram Dinstein, and the Secretary General of the ECTR Ireneusz Bil. 

The event is public and everyone may come to listen. The event can also be followed online: https://www.riigikogu.ee/index.php?id=173840 

The Riigikogu Press Service