Reuters and the Associated Press report. The conditions for EU participation appear to be the same as those that prompted the United States’ withdrawal from the anti-racism conference, scheduled to occur next month in Geneva: either the draft document is changed to eliminate anti-Semitism and free speech restrictions designed as “anti-defamation of religion” statutes, or we won’t be there.
Obviously, the best option is for all parties, including the United States and the EU, to participate and work toward a document acceptable to all sides. The only way to have an effective anti-racism conference is for everyone to be involved. In Durban in 2001, the EU banded together — during the conference itself, after the United States and Israel had already departed — to keep all offensive passages out of the final document. If EU countries are not confident that they could do so this time, then I suppose solidarity is best, but solidarity at the conference would be better.
(image from flickr user Vovchychko under a Creative Commons license)