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The European Commission announced on Thursday that it is becoming a permanent international partner to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The participation of the EU in this international body will allow closer cooperation on combating Holocaust denial and preventing racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

The EU said the announcement is a direct follow-up to President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s call for closer international cooperation in his statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day this pas January, as well as the European Parliament’s resolution on combating anti-Semitism of June 2017.

"With a decreasing number of Holocaust survivors and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, we need to foster the memory of the darkest chapter in our history. The EU joining the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance will help promote understanding so that future generations will heed the lessons of our past," said EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Added the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová, "This commitment is part of our wider effort to fight against anti-Semitism. Our involvement in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has special importance at a time when Holocaust denial is spreading."

The IHRA is an intergovernmental organization promoting education about the Holocaust.

The IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism includes classic forms of anti-Semitism, but also offers examples of modern manifestations, such as targeting all Jews as a proxy for Israel, denying Jews the right to a homeland and using historical anti-Semitic images to tarnish all Israelis.

Several countries in Europe have adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, including Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria.

In 2017, the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution calling on member states and their institutions to apply the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.