European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance

European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance ( ECRI ) is the Council of Europe ’s independent human rights monitoring body specialized in combating racism , discrimination , xenophobia , antisemitism and intolerance. It publishes periodic reports on CoE member states and general policy recommendations. The decision to found ECRI was adopted in 1993. The organization became officially active as of March 1994. [1]


ECRI consists of 47 experts, one from every CoE member state. The chair of the commission is Jean-Paul Lehners from Luxembourg, since 2017.

Each ECRI member is allowed a renewable term of five years through their respective governments. To maintain membership, they must also abide by these terms of the ECRI Statute: [2] [1]

The members of ECRI shall have high moral authority and recognized expertise in dealing with racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism, and intolerance; The members of ECRI shall serve in their individual capacity, shall be independent and impartial in fulfilling their mandate. They will not receive any instructions from their government. [3]

The first ECRI chair was the Swedish Discrimination Ombudsman Frank Orton, who held the position until 1998. [4] It was his idea that the commission should be known to country-by-country studies, country-specific advice how to fight racism and related intolerance.

To train ECRI chairs include Nikos Frangakis, [5] Michael Head, [6] Eva Smith Asmussen [7] and Nils Muižnieks .


The main purpose of ECRI is to provide a critical critique, called a General Policy Report (GPR), to countries on their actions and legislature to improve the welfare of the minority groups residing within the nation. The ECRI also considers its reports itself, and the country being reviewed, which differentiates it from CERD at the United Nations. [1]

Merja Pentikainen relays the ECRI’s desire for immigrants and non-EU residents‘ full integration and participation in EU societies. In particular, the ECRI is a strong advocate of the integration of Romani people in European society and Romani children in EU school systems. In fact, the Romani are the main objects of attention in most of the organization’s calls for integration. However, while racism and discrimination have always been a big part of the ECRI agenda, integration has only begun to make prominent appearances in recent GPRs. [8]

See also

  • Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Environmental racism in Europe


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Patrick., Thornberry, (2004). Minority rights in Europe: a review of the work and standards of the Council of Europe . Martín Estébanez, Maria Amor., Council of Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Pub. ISBN  9287153663 . OCLC  55664994 .
  2. Jump up^ Lanna., Hollo, (2009). The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI): Its first 15 Years . Council of Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Pub. ISBN  9789287166302 . OCLC  495781775 .
  3. Jump up^ „ECRI Statute“ . . Retrieved 2017-11-30 .
  4. Jump up^ ECRI reports CRI (94) 1: 6 and CRI (97) 76: 1, 31 and 51.
  5. Jump up^ ECRI 1998 report – Appendix 1
  6. Jump up^ ECRI 2004 report – Appendix 1
  7. Jump up^ ECRI 2005 report – Appendix 1
  8. Jump up^ Pentikainen, Merja (2015). „Social Integration of“ Old „and“ New „Minorities in Europe in Views of International Expert Bodies Relying on Human Rights: Contextual Balancing and Tailoring“ (PDF) . Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe . 14 : 26-47 – via ProQuest.