The article describes the state of race relations and racism in Europe. Racism of various forms is found in every country on Earth. Racism is widely condemned throughout the world, with 170 states signatories of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by August 8, 2006. In different countries, the forms that racism takes may be different for historic, cultural, religious, economic or demographic reasons.
Austria has sometimes been criticized of trying to sweep its Nazi past under the carpet. This complacency was tested in the 1986 presidential race when it emerged that Kurt Waldheim (a former UN secretary general) had concealed facts about his war-time military service with the Wehrmacht. Nevertheless Waldheim was elected President. Controversy again erupted in 2000 when Jörg Haider's centre-right Freedom Party entered into coalition with the conservative Austrian People's Party having gained 27% of the vote. Progress has been made with settling the disputes and compensation for Jews and others whose property and assets were seized during the Nazi era, with a deal completed in 2001. Elections in 2002 saw a significant drop in support for the Freedom Party, with the party subsequently splitting into opposing factions. Jörg Haider, before his death in a car crash on the 11th October 2008, led the "Alliance for the Future of Austria".
Racism in Bulgaria has been geared towards the Romani people who are perceived to be of different racial and ethnic background. However, not all Bulgarians are racist towards the Roma, and it varies with an individual's upbringing, education, area where they lived, and other factors. Bulgarian nationalists are also wary of the country's large Turkish minority because of their perceived ambitions for greater power in Bulgaria and potential separatism in areas where Turks predominantly live. The forced assimilation campaign of the late 80s and early 90s directed against ethnic Turks resulted in the permanent emigration of some 300,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey. During this period, Turks were forced to change their names to Slavic Bulgarian ones and Turkish culture was heavily suppressed. Muslim Bulgarians (ethnic Bulgarians practicing Islam) were also targeted as Islam was seen as a "foreign "Turkish element" that stood against Bulgarian interests. The National Union Attack or Ataka, a party widely considered fanatically xenophobic, surprisingly won 10% of the popular vote at the recent 2005 elections. A bit under 20% also voted for the far right Bulgarian political party Attack National Union for the recent European Elections.
In regards to the ethnic Macedonian minority in Bulgaria: The Bulgarian president told the Council of Ministers in Strasbourg on April 22 that there was no Macedonian minority in Bulgaria. Expressions of Macedonian culture were frequently suppressed: on May 5, police arrested fifteen ethnic Macedonians to prevent a cultural celebration. On October 9, however, the Bulgarian president signed the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, signaling a new commitment to uphold minority rights.  However to date the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities has not been honoured - the ethnic Macedonian political organization Omo Ilinden Pirin is still denied registration by the Government of Bulgaria.
Cyprus has a long history of inter-ethnic conflict between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot citizens. Following independence, these resulted in a series of escalating incidents of violence, mostly practised by the Greek Cypriot majority against the Turkish Cypriot minority group, and a military action by the Turkish army in 1968. In 1974, Turkey invaded and occupied a large part of the island, and proclaimed the TRNC, a supposedly independent state.
More recently, large-scale immigration to the South has resulted in a growing atmosphere of racism and xenophobia, occasionally spilling into violent incidents . The NGO KISA has been set up to combat this unpleasant development.
Countries outside Europe criticized Denmark for allowing free speech in relation to the Muhammad cartoons controversy . Amnesty International has previously criticized the anti-drug police readiness to act against foreign citizens. Several tourists claimed that they were beaten and harassed by staff in a prison . However the Regional State Prosecutor for Copenhagen found no basis for a case. The right-wing movement in Denmark criticized departments of the European Union that claimed that there is racism in Denmark.
In relation to the ongoing gang war in Denmark, non-ethnic Danish gangs criticized the government for taking the side of Danish biker gangs, due to the law that criminals of non-Danish citizenship are deported..
France has a long history of ethnic and racial conflicts. In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France were subject to frequent massacres. The Crusades were followed by expulsions; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France. Jews in Western Europe generally were forced, by decree or by informal pressure, to live in highly segregated ghettos. Anti-Semitism, a common trend in European history, is also highlighted in French history by events such as the Dreyfus Affair at the turn of the nineteenth century, and France's treatment of its Jewish population during the Vichy regime. Likewise, the treatment of those from French Indochina, North Africa + other former colonies during the colonial era. The atrocities committed during The First Indochina War (1945-1954) The Algerian War of Independence that followed(1954–1962) and also the Paris massacre of 1961 are also signs of intolerance. The fact that Algerians formed the bulk of late-twentieth century immigration has raised delicate issues, which are exacerbated by the degradation of the general social situation. In the 1970s Jean Raspail wrote The Camp of the Saints which some felt implied African immigrants should be drowned or shot to prevent them from entering France.
In 1998 the Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) made a report stating concern about racist activities in France and accused the French authorities of not doing enough to combat this. The report and other groups have expressed concern about organizations like Front National (France). In a recent Pew Survey, 47% of the French deem immigration from Eastern Europe to be a bad thing. A small minority shows signs of Anti-Semitism. Roughly 11% had an unfavorable view of Jews and 8% felt that US policy was most influenced by the Jews. In the colonial age some French also displayed negative sentiments toward black Africans.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict "transported" the animosity between Jews and Arabs to Europe to some degree. In October and November 2005, after two presumably innocent youths of North African origin were accidentally electrocuted after they were chased by the police violent riots erupted in north-east Paris, and later other cities around France.
France is home to Europe’s largest population of Muslims, about 5,000,000 (8%), as well as the continent’s largest community of Jews, about 650,000. Over the last several years, anti-Jewish violence, property destruction, and racist language has been wildly increasing. Jewish leaders perceive an intensifying anti-Semitism in France, mainly among Muslims of Arab or french heritage, but also growing among Caribbean islanders from former colonies.
The history of Germany has included many acts and policies of racism. If one includes pre-19th century acts of anti-Semitism as racism, the history stretches back to at least the eleventh century, when Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor expelled Jews from Mainz in 1012. Other acts of anti-Semitism included numerous bloody attacks on Jews living in the area in the 13th and 14th centuries, most notably the massacres of Jews in the 1340s after they were blamed for spreading the Black Death.
In the nineteenth century, Germany became one of the major centers of nationalist thought, with the Völkisch movement, and also a major area for development of racial theories, many of them virulently racist See above. Anti-semitic campaigns in this period took on a definitely "racial" valence, as definitely distinct from a purely religious one.
The period after World War I led to an increased use of anti-Semitism and other racism in political discourse, for example among General Ludendorff's followers, which was capped by the ascent of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party in 1933. Nazi racial policy and the Nazi Nuremberg Laws represented some of the most explicit racist policies in Europe in the twentieth century, and culminated in the Holocaust, a systematic murdering of millions of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, disabled people and other "undesirables".
In the post-World War II era, German reconciliation with its anti-Semitic past has been a protracted experience. Recent concerns about racism have centered around immigrants (Ausländer), who encounter prejudice when seeking jobs and apartments, or can even experience direct violent attacks by some right-wing groups. This pattern is similar to what is happening in some other European countries.
The immigrants came in two waves. The first wave of immigrants came in the early 1950s, the so called Gastarbeiter (Guest Workers). They were almost exclusively requested and welcomed by the German government and companies as work-force increase to the growing and booming economy. These well trained working people were literally exchanged by their native countries for economical incentives and came mainly from countries such as Turkey, Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia to West Germany, and Vietnam and Angola to East Germany. Initially, the Gastarbeiter were expected to remain on limited contracts or work-permissions, and then eventually leave. Many of these contracts were extendent and family reunions were granted resulting in children born and raised in Germany. These second generation "Gastarbeiters" were now granted different rights (the right to live indefinitely in Germany - Aufenthaltsberechtigung) from their parents permission to reside for a limited, but for indefinitely extendable time (Arbeitserlaubnis). Problems of integration arose then these second and third generation "Gastarbeiter" remained citizens of other countries in which these generations had never lived and were increasingly culturally, socially and economically alienated. Starting from the 1980s, the second wave of immigrants into Germany were the Asylbewerber (Asylum Seekers) from war torn and conflicted areas such as Sri Lanka and Lebanon. Announcing the word "asyl" on German ground meant automatic permission to enter Germany, and this part of the law was being at least partially abused by some migrants who were not escaping political and social hardship in their native countries, but economical hardships, called Wirtschaftsflüchtlinge (Economic Refugees). Germany was not prepared and in denial of being a land of migration since at least the 1960s when the first children were being born to 'Gastarbeiter'. A failed integration of the first generation and failed German planning assisted in a general sense of not-belonging and the development of parallel societies that failed to identify themselves completely as part of the German culture and society, creating and enabling racism and discrimination.
The independent expert on minority issues - Gay McDougall, visited Greece from 8 to 16 September 2008 , inter alia, to promote implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
She travelled to different regions and conducted extensive consultations with senior government representatives and public officials at the national and regional levels. She consulted civil society organizations, religious leaders, academics and community leaders. Greece recognizes only one minority, the Muslim religious minority in Western Thrace. Greece does not recognize the minority status of other communities. The Government is convinced that the claims of the existence of other minorities are unsubstantiated and politically motivated. However, whether a State officially recognizes a minority is not conclusive with respect to its obligations toward minority populations.
The independent expert is concerned with matters solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the Government of Greece relating to its treatment of minorities and disadvantaged groups inside the country. Her concerns focus on the degree to which legislation, policy and practice fulfil obligations under international human rights law, including minority rights, which have precedence over bilateral treaties and agreements. The decision that a certain group should receive the protections due to minorities does not have implications for inter-State relations. Minorities are constituent groups of Greek society, not a foreign element.
The independent expert urges the Government of Greece to withdraw from the dispute over whether there is a Macedonian or a Turkish minority in Greece and focus on protecting the rights to self-identification, freedom of expression and freedom of association of those communities. Their rights to minority protections must be honoured in accordance with the Declaration on Minorities and the core international human rights treaties. Greece should comply fully with the judgement's of the European Court of Human Rights, specifically those decisions that associations should be allowed to use the words Macedonian and Turkish in their names and to express their ethnic identities freely.
On 28 August 2009, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)  released its “Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” in relation to the 16th – 19th periodical reports of Greece. The Committee is a United Nations body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.
The Committee made a number of important observations and has a number of significant recommendations in relation to the ethnic Macedonian minority of Greece. In particular, the Committee was “concerned about reports on the propagation by certain organizations and media outlets of racist stereotypes and hate comments against persons belonging to different ethnic and racial groups”. As a result, the “Committee recommends that the State party [Greece] take effective measures to penalize organizations and media outlets that are guilty of such acts. It further recommends that the State party concretely ban Neo-Nazi groups from its territory and take more effective measures to promote tolerance towards persons of different ethnic origins".
Moreover, the Committee was “concerned about the obstacles encountered by some ethnic groups in exercising the freedom of association, and in this regard takes note of information on the forced dissolution and refusal to register some associations including words such as “minority”, Turkish or Macedonian, as well as of the explanation for such refusal”. Thus, the Committee recommended “the State party Greece adopt measures to ensure the effective enjoyment by persons belonging to every community or group of their right to freedom of association and of their cultural rights, including the use of mother languages".
On March 11, 2010 the US Department Of State released a scathing Human Rights report: Greece.
For most of the last eight centuries of Irish history discrimination in Ireland has been experienced in terms of oppression against the indigenous Irish people by a succession of English rulers beginning with the English-supported Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. This persecution was felt in terms of laws forbidding land ownership (the Penal Laws), restrictions on freedom of religion (persecution of Roman Catholics following the Protestant Reformation in England), denial of the right to vote or hold office and inaction during the The Great Famine leading to approximately 1 million deaths and the exodus of over 2 million people. The Plantations of Ireland, run by English colonists, were a precursor to the overseas Empire. In cases of wars and rebellions, such as the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Irish Rebellion of 1798 and the Irish War of Independence of 1919-1921 war crimes, massacres and atrocities were committed by British forces or British-supported paramilitaries. It is estimated that as much as a third of the entire population of Ireland perished during the civil wars and subsequent Cromwellian conquest in the mid-17th century. Since the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Ireland had been mainly under the control of the Irish Confederate Catholics.
The Cromwellian reconquest of Ireland was extremely brutal. The reconquest would today be called a war crime. William Petty who conducted the first scientific land and demographic survey of Ireland in the 1650s (the Down Survey), concluded that between 400,000 and 620,000 people died in Ireland between 1641 and 1653 many as a result of famine and plague.
The Shelta or Irish Travellers, a traditionally nomadic ethnic group once speaking their own language have also experienced persecution in past and modern times from both previous British authorities and also in the Irish Free State and the present-day Republic of Ireland. Following independence in 1921 there was traditionally very little immigration by non-whites to the Republic of Ireland due to historic poverty, though in recent times growing prosperity in the country (see: Celtic Tiger) has attracted increasing numbers of immigrants, mainly from Africa, China, and Eastern Europe. Also the absence of any colonialist baggage has meant that foreign people are not drawn to Ireland by "mother country" factors that have affected other European countries. Descendants of Irish people who emigrated in the past have also started moving to the country. Most immigrants have settled in Dublin and the other cities. Though these developments have been somewhat tolerated by most, there has been a rise in racist attitudes among some sections of society. Much of this racism takes the form of verbal and other abuses. However, in 2002, a Chinese man Zhao Liu Tao (29) was murdered in Dublin in what was described as the Republic of Ireland's first racially motivated murder.  Later that year Leong Ly Min, another Chinese man who had lived in Dublin since 1979, was beaten to death by a gang who had been racially abusing him. 
Several issues relating to immigration have gained publicity in recent years. After 1997 and prior to 2005 any baby born in the Republic was entitled to Irish citizenship due to stipulations in the Good Friday agreement. This led to claims that many pregnant women from Africa (overwhelmingly from Nigeria), having discarded their identification documentation, were travelling to Ireland expressly to give birth and thus allow their child to gain Irish citizenship. This became known as citizenship tourism. Following these alleged abuses of the loophole in the Irish Constitution a referendum on the issue was held. The referendum was duly carried and the loophole was closed.
In 2005 Nigerian student Olukunle Elukanlo was deported after his asylum application was rejected. Following an outcry by various left-wing activist groups at the decision he was allowed to return to complete his Leaving Cert. He was later deported. It is understood that one factor in the decision was Elukanlo's recent plea of guilty in court to charges of driving without insurance or tax, along with the fact that he already has a previous conviction for a road traffic offence. The issue highlighted the growing numbers of failed asylum seekers being deported. This has been highlighted in recent television and radio programmes focused on exposing the extreme high cost to the Irish taxpayer of processing false asylum claims in addition to the cost of returning bogus asylum-seekers to their country of origin.
The large majority of Irish people support their country's membership of the European Union, but increasingly large numbers resent migrants from outside the Union coming to Ireland expressly for the purpose of claiming asylum, without having applied for asylum in other countries along their route as is required by international law. There are several "anti-racism" groups active in the Republic, as well as those seeking tighter immigration laws such as the Immigration Control Platform.
In 2006 the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission got 694 requests to judge if a treatment legislation law had been broken. By far the most cases concerned age discrimination (219), race discrimination followed (105). THE CGB brought out 261 judgements; 46 per cent of the cases where declared discrimination.
Racism in Portugal is not a major social issue. The population, although fairly homogeneous, is also composed of some minorities, such as African and Roma. Despite the openness to other cultures and peoples, some cases of violence are registered in the recent history of the country.
Racism in Romania has been growing after the fall of communism in 1989. Neo-Nazi groups and all sorts of people constructed a barricade against the Romani people who are seen as thieves and uneducated people. Also, P.R.M. (The Greater Romania Party - Partidul Romania Mare), a party considered to be racist, antisemitic and xenophobic has programs against the Roma and Hungarian minorities. In 2004, PRM scored 13.2% in the elections.
At the end of the Reconquista, Spanish Inquisition imposed pureza de sangre ("racial purity") against Jews and Muslims. Discovery of the New World also led to the famous Valladolid Controversy, in which Bartolomé de Las Casas opposed Sepúlveda's denegation of the existence of "Indian souls". See Eduardo Galeano's The Veins of South America .
Racist abuse aimed at black footballers has been reported at Spanish football league matches in recent years. This has led to protests and UEFA fines against clubs whose supporters continue the abuse. Several players in the Spanish league including Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o and Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni have suffered and spoken out against the abuse. In 2006, Real Zaragoza player Ewerthon stated : "the Spanish Federation have to start taking proper measures and we as black players also have to act.
Before the Beijing Olympics, the Spanish basketball team appeared in an advertisement showing them pulling the edges of their eyes. The advertisement was widely criticized by Chinese political and Olympic officials..
According to the report Racism and Xenophobia in Sweden by the Board of Integration, Muslims are exposed to the most religious harassment in Sweden. Almost 40% of the interviewed said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims. The famous Swedish botanic researcher Carl Von-Linné (Carl Linnaeus) was also a pioneer in race-biology field. He divided humans to races and related behavioural patterns and claimed blacks are lazy and slow while Europeans are innovative and smart. Sweden outlawed slavery in 1335. Sweden had trade colonies outside of sweden where slavery was tolerated but performed mostly by other countries (99.9 of transatlantic slave transports was performed by other countries than sweden).Template:Ciationneeded Sweden was also the first country in the world to open an institute for race-biology research in the Swedish town of Uppsala.  The institute recommended the sterilization by force of the mentally ill, physically disabled, homosexuals and ethnic minorities, which was allowed by Swedish law until 1975.  Although Sweden is often referred as having been passive regarding WW2, 100 Swedes voluntarily joined the Nazis and participated in Waffen-SS. There were divisions of Swedish volunteers such as the SS Panzer division Wiking and The SS panzergrenadier-friewilligen division Nordland European Network Against Racism in Sweden claims that in today's Sweden there exists a clear ethnic hierarchy when ethnic Swedes are at the top and non-European immigrants are at the bottom.
 Sveriges Radio reported that the punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol tended to be harsher for immigrants than for Swedes; while over 50% of immigrants were sent to jail for driving under the effect of alcohol, only less than 30% of ethnic Swedes were sent to jail with the same level of alcohol found in blood . There has been evidence that the Swedish police used "Neger Niggerson" as a nick-name for a criminal in a police training; this was published in Swedish media . Lately however, many incidents of racial attitudes and discrimination of the Swedish police have led for the first time to the control of racial attitudes of police students under police education  A recent research done by the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees (TCO) found that people with foreign background have much lower chances of finding a job that is appropriate for their education, even when they have grown up in Sweden and got their education in Swedish institutes .
Regarding the Sámi minority in Sweden: Sweden has been strongly criticised on a number of occasions by various UN bodies, such as the UN Race Discrimination Committee and the UN Human Rights Committee, as a result of Sweden failing to respect the Sami's human rights. The UN has been particularly critical of the fact that the Sami's rights to their land and water areas, as well as the natural resources, are not recognized. The Council of Europe and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) have also criticized Sweden for its treatment of the Sami.
In 2007, there were a total of 3,536 hate crimes (defined as crimes with an ethnic or religious motive) reported to the police, including 118 cases of anti-Semitic agitation. Racism in Sweden is reported to appear within Swedish health-care services as well. a nurse at a Stockholm suburb hospital lost its job after complaining on racial attitudes of the hospital staff to patients with immigrant background. Staff was cited saying "go back to Arabia", "the patient is screaming because it in his culture", "send him to Auschwitz" and more .
Swedish social services have reported on racism in Swedish hospitals as well . A study of statistics Sweden (SCB) reveals that segregation is widespread for Swedish immigrants when there are large differences in the fields of education, housing, employment and politics between immigrants and ethnic swedes . Sweden criticized by the UN human rights council for an increasing number of hate crimes which seldom resulted in criminal charges, when more hate crimes are Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic, with an increasing amount of racist propaganda appearing on the internet and in Sweden's schools, for failing to provide adequate health care and education to immigrants, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants and the ongoing discrimination of the Roma and Sami minorities in Sweden
Sweden have recently handed over 22 skulls of Hawaiians from the late 19th century in an official ceremony. Those skulls are only the top of an iceberg of thousands of remains from humans from different parts of the world that were found in Swedish museums and institutes. The remains are defined as a "racial inheritance", however Sweden did not publish how they got into Sweden.
Swedish national television (SVT) has reported on a new research done in Sweden which identifies that job seekers with a Swedish name have 50% higher chances to be called for an interview than job seekers with middle-eastern names. The research enlightens that there is not much difference between foreign-born job seekers and job seekers born in Sweden if both don't have a Swedish name; this indicates that ethnic discrimination is the main cause of the variations.
The Swiss Confederation or Confederatio Helvetica is a nation composed of four subcultural groups: German-speaking (63.7%), French-speaking (20.4%), Italian-speaking (6.5%) and Romansh-speaking (0.5%) (Source: Federal Population Census 2000). With this diversity and its history of neutrality, Switzerland has been seen as a safe refuge for those genuinely fleeing from persecution, and this is backed up by statistics. Switzerland has seen an increase in refugees in recent years, (particularly from Africa), who have claimed asylum directly in Switzerland. In 1992, the federal refugee office registered some 7,000 black Africans requesting asylum. In the first nine months of 2002 the number was 17,000.
The vast majority of asylum seekers are believed by many Swiss politicians to be economic immigrants rather than genuine asylum seekers. Furthermore, the SVP or Swiss People's Party has significantly increased its share of the vote in recent years on a perceived "anti-immigrant" platform. It is best known for opposing Swiss membership in international organisations such as the EU and United Nations and for its campaigning against perceived flaws in the immigration, asylum and penal laws.
Swiss "Confederation Commission Against Racism" which is part of the Swiss "Federal Department of Home Affairs"published a 2004 report, Black People in Switzerland: A Life between Integration and Discrimination  (published in German, French, and Italian only). According to this report, discrimination based on skin colour in Switzerland is not exceptional, and affects immigrants decades after their immigration.
Swiss people voted a new parliament in 2007, giving the right-wing Swiss People's Party a consolidated grip on power. UN Human Rights are fearful of the xenophobia that characterized Switzerland, and condemned laws that target the country's immigrants as unjust and racist. The Swiss People's Party which has the largest number of seats in the Swiss parliament and is a member of the country's coalition government, drew worldwide condemnation with an ad campaign depicting three white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag. The poster is, according to the United Nations, the sinister symbol of the rise of a new racism and xenophobia in the heart of one of the world's oldest independent democracies. According to Pascal Sciarini, professor of political science at the University of Geneva, the People's Party's recent electoral success is down to its tough line on foreigners, and it is now a prisoner of this strategy: "They have to keep the fires burning, and that means they have to come up with new ideas and at the same time harden their stance," he said. Although Switzerland has Europe's toughest naturalisation laws - foreigners must live for 12 years in a Swiss community before they can apply, and being born in Switzerland brings no right to citizenship -, Swiss People's Party passed a new naturalisation procedure in 2007, called Democratic Naturalisation in this new procedure foreigners must often be approved by the entire voting community, in a secret ballot, or a show of hands. A report, from Switzerland's Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination, into the new process of naturalisation says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist, and recommends far-reaching changes. It criticises the practice of allowing members of a community to vote on an individual's citizenship application. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and people from the Balkans, Africa, Asia and Latin America are the most likely to be rejected, the report points out. It cites the case of a disabled man originally from Kosovo. Although fulfilling all the legal criteria, his application for citizenship was rejected by his community on the grounds that his disability made him a burden on taxpayers, and that he was Muslim. Swiss People's Party claims that Swiss communities have a democratic right to decide who can or cannot be Swiss. In addition, the report said "Official statements and political campaigns that present immigrants from the EU in a favourable light and immigrants from elsewhere in a bad light must stop", according to the Swiss Federal Statistics Office in 2006, 85.5 percent of the foreign residents in Switzerland are European . The United Nations special rapporteur on racism, Doudou Diène, has observed that Switzerland suffers from racism, discrimination and xenophobia. The UN envoy explained that although the Swiss authorities recognised the existence of racism and xenophobia, they did not view the problem as being serious. Diène pointed out that representatives of minority communities said they experienced serious racism and discrimination.