Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.


This is an Internet project of the European Center of Democracy Development dedicated to the creation and strengthening of the Civic nation in European countries.

European Centre for Democracy Development – is the Expert body registered in Latvia like an NGO. The goal of Organization – to study Xenophobia and Radicalism in Europe. ECDD published 3 annual Reports "Xenophobia, Radicalism and Hate Crime in Europe" – the analytical investigation regarding Tolerance and made  3 annual conferences "International Expert Forum of Tolerance. Xenophobia and Radicalism in Europe: Global Challenges", which were successfully held in Riga in 2016 – 2017 and in Athens in 2019.

   A Civic (political) nation is a community of people united by common historical destinies, as well as involvement in one state and its values, regardless of their belonging to ethnic, religious, gender and other social groups.

The level of cohesion of society, as well as the overall prospects for the state as a whole is dependent on the nature and strength of the Civic nation. In turn, the nature and strength of the Civic nation is largely determined by the type of a Nation state. Any state in the world is national, because it always protects the interests of the nation. However, the type of Nation-state depends on what is understood by a Nation in one or another country of the world.

A Nation can be considered as an ethnos. Then, the Nation state protects the interests of only a specific ethnos and is formed on the basis of the "principle of blood". In such a society, a civil nation is replaced by a group, to which only members of this ethnos belong. This is what certain radical nationalist and neo-Nazi parties seek, despite the fact that the only full-fledged European experience of such a state in the 1930s-40s had ended in the failure and tragedy of millions.

A nation can be understood as a community of people united, along with a common territory and common historical destinies, also a common supra-ethnic idea. States created in the interests of such a nation can be called ideological or international, since they are created around an idea that has nothing to do with the ethnic component. Such states are, for example, the USA (the Protestant messianic idea of ​​the development of America, combined with the idea of ​​democracy) and Switzerland (the idea of ​​neutrality). The same principles were meant to found the Soviet Union in 1922 (the idea of ​​proletarian internationalism).

A civil nation in such a society consists of those people who feel their belonging to a given country and are supporters of the unifying idea.

However, most European countries the nation is defined as a community of people of different nationalities, formed on the basis of cultural and historical traditions of the Titular ethnos.

This traditional perception of the nation allows a member of any ethnos or religion to become French, Greek, Italian, etc. This state also protects the interests of the titular ethnos, but the very concept of "ethnos" in this case loses the "blood" component, confining itself to belonging to its cultural and historical traditions. It is believed that such states are created on the basis of “land”. In other words, to belong to the French nation, a resident of the French Republic does not need to be an ethnic Frenchman, but he must speak French fluently, consider the French history and culture as his own, and feel his inalienable belonging to France. If you call things by their proper names, they should voluntarily assimilate. However, the word "voluntarily" is the key here. This does not mean that it is required of him to forget his roots and his native language. In the same France, we meet, for example, the descendants of Russian immigration in the 1920s, who retained the Russian language and cherished the culture of their ancestors, but these are the real French in the socio-cultural, linguistic and political sense of the word.

Such a principle of the formation of a national state is still considered the most important achievement of European democracy, an effective tool in the struggle against racial and religious discrimination. Most of the states in the Old World were founded on this basis. Many of the former republics of the USSR seek to establish themselves along the same model. This model can be called a traditional European nation state, given that it was formed in most countries of Europe in the middle of the century.

A civil nation in the conditions of a traditional European nation state unites people who feel their belonging to the country and the traditions of the titular ethnos.

In many respects, the strength of the civil nation depends on the mood of the society itself: from its readiness to unite on the basis of a supra-ethnic idea or on the basis of traditions of the title ethnos (which in modern conditions implies the readiness of the minority for voluntary assimilation). Thus, until the mid-1980s, Europe easily absorbed millions of migrants who came there willingly to become French, Germans, Dutch, etc., but by the end of the second millennium the situation began to change.

For example, today in France only 75% of Muslims feel "to some extent" or "unconditionally" French first, and as members of Islam, their ethnicity or country of origin second1. However, 25% (and this is a very large figure) do not agree to adopt such a model. To them, their ethnic, religious and geographical origin is primary. They do not consider themselves French, although for many of them hold a French passport and many were born in that country. These are not just immigrants of the first generation, but also about large compact immigrant groups of the second and even third generation. Approximately the same situation develops in other countries of Western Europe. An even more acute situation arose in many republics of the former USSR after its disintegration. There, the phenomenon of irredentas arose, i.e. "Unintentional diasporas". These are minority groups, who were formed as a result of changes in borders. Irredenta is much more sensitive to the issues of her national culture, language and general ethnic self-awareness than the classical diaspora that has emerged as a result of immigration. They did not seek to become a minority group, but became one as a result of a change in geopolitical realities. Therefore, this requires a very sensitive attitude. These groups are unwilling to voluntary assimilate, especially if assimilation is offered too aggressively.

In both cases, a civil nation cannot be considered strong, and social cohesion is threatened, because a significant part of the population either does not feel its belonging to the country of residence at all, or does not share the basic values of its national state.

Accordingly, governments and political parties, when formulating policies for the creation of a civic nation, must take this into account in order to guarantee the unity of society.

A strong civil nation means having a strong, cohesive society. This is the result of a competent policy of the state to ensure the unity of society and the state, taking into account the interests of all social groups. The consequence of erroneous policies, as a rule, is the activation of radical forces, the growth of xenophobic sentiments, the intensification of interethnic and interreligious contradictions, the increase in the number of hate crimes, and so on. All this leads to violation of public stability, to the emergence of civil conflicts, to the weakening of the civil nation, and sometimes - to the disintegration of the state.

This Internet project is dedicated to the formation of a modern civil nation. This is the first project that provides an opportunity to obtain the most detailed information on those aspects of domestic policy that affect its formation: anti-discrimination legislation, law enforcement practices, attitude towards minorities, the activities of radical groups, the level of xenophobia and hate crimes in most European countries etc.

This website publishes an annual pan-European report "Xenophobia, Radicalism and Hate Crimes in Europe", which is an analytical report on European problems of tolerance in general, including a comparative analysis of all the above indicators in different countries.

This is an interactive resource. Each user can take part in the formation of its content by sending information on any of its sections to the site through the "Contacts" section. The submission is then promptly checked by our moderators, and the article is posted on this website. Thus, this Internet resource guarantee objectivity and content. We will start building our own "Civic Nation"!

The website contains the latest scientific Publications on issues of national and religious policy. The Documents sections contains the basic international documents related to the subject of human rights and the strategy of individual countries in the field of national policy. Conferences section contains the latest information about forthcoming and past conferences and round tables on this topic.

The head of the project and the editor-in-chief of the site is the President of the European CEntre of Democracy Development Dr. Valery Engel.

The administration of this website thanks the Chairman of the Council of the European Centre for Tolerance Vladimir Sternfeld, Businessman Sergey Kadanov and the Rector of the Moscow Institute of Economics Dr. Igor Surat for practical assistance in implementing the project.



1 http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/critcom/the-diversity-of-muslims-in-france-pre-and-post-charlie-hebdo/

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