Anti-racism in the EU Conference: ENAR advocates for meaningul representation of People of African Descent in public office
Barcelona, 2-3 November 2023 – At the Anti-Racism in the EU conference, ENAR Co-Director Ojeaku Nwabuzo called for genuine representation in public office, highlighting related issues of employment disparities and distrust in political institutions.
Under the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a high-level conference Anti-racism in the EU: People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development brought together representatives from EU institutions and Member States, alongside leading civil society voices. The two-day event, organised by the Spanish Ministry of Equality, the EU agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European Commission, and EEA and Norway Grants, addressed the factors underpinning structural racism in Europe, what the EU and its Member States are doing to address it, as well as how people of African descent are represented in public office and the media.
As a panelist on the representation of people of African descent in public office and media, ENAR Co-Director Ojeaku Nwabuzo highlighted the need to:
- achieve meaningful representation for people of African descent in public office. Beyond optics and tokenism, representation entails actively co-shaping policies in order to address the concrete and critical realities that racialised communities confront daily, such as police brutality.
- acknowledge the absence of trust between racialised communities and public institutions in Europe as a critical factor that plays into the lack of representation in political institutions.
- recognise that the lack of representation is tied to broader job market barriers, where various manifestations of structural racism mean that people of African descent are often stuck in the cycle of low-paying, precarious jobs.