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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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Войтех Ф. ЭКСТРЕМИЗМ – ФЕНОМЕН 21 ВЕКА / Ф. Войтех // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2015. — №4 (35) Часть 3. — С. 63—66. — URL: https://research-journal.org/social/extremism-phenomenon-of-21st-century/ (дата обращения: 30.06.2022. ).
Войтех Ф. ЭКСТРЕМИЗМ – ФЕНОМЕН 21 ВЕКА / Ф. Войтех // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2015. — №4 (35) Часть 3. — С. 63—66.

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ЭКСТРЕМИЗМ – ФЕНОМЕН 21 ВЕКА

Войтех Ф.

Кандидат экономических наук,

Институт экономики и управления государственной службы, Братислава, Словакия

ЭКСТРЕМИЗМ – ФЕНОМЕН 21 ВЕКА

Аннотация

Основной целью данной работы является рассмотрение понятия экстремизма с нескольких точек зрения. Экстремизм в качестве явления негативно влияющего на общество, рассмотриваем с экономической точки зрения из-за того, что  причины и условия экстремизма нужно устранять законным путьем. Для этого необходимы средства из государственного бюджета или бюджета Евпропейского Союза. Если посмотреть с юридической точки зрения, то приходим к выводу, что юридического определения понятия экстремизма не существует, ни в правовых документах ЕС, ни в уголовном кодексе Словакии.

Ключевые слова: экстремизм, уголовное дело, преступление, расовый мотив, государственная власть, межведомственное сотрудничество.

Vojtech F.

Doctor of Philosophy

Institute of Economics and Management of Public Administration, Bratislava, Slovakia

EXTREMISM – PHENOMENON OF 21st CENTURY

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of extremism from several points of view. We map extremism as a phenomenon negatively affecting society, from the economic point of view due to the fact that the causes and conditions of extremism need to be fixed in legal way. This will require funds from the state budget or the budget of European Union. If you look from a legal point of view, we come to the conclusion that the legal definition of extremism does not exist, neither in the legal instruments of the EU, nor the Criminal Code of Slovakia.

Keywords: extremism, crime, racial motive, public authority, interagency cooperation.

We can speak about the extremism, its causes and consequences from different perspectives.  This unhealthy social phenomenon concerns me from the legal and economic point of view.

From the legal point of view, as this phenomenon occurs in society which is trying to define it by the laws and standards that are in force not only in Slovakia but also in the European Union our country is part of.

From the economic point of view, when the negative phenomena, which affect the society, matter, they must be removed legally. This requires the funds available to deputies – politicians through the state budget or the budget of the European Union. This depends on the amount of funds that are released for the society what is actually a policy of political parties. Different political parties present their relationship to extremism by this way.

Legal aspects of extremism

If we look at the concept of extremism from a legal standpoint, we discover an interesting fact. There is no legal definition of this term. We do not find it neither in any documents of the EU nor in the Criminal Code of the Slovak Republic, which in § 140a appoints only crimes of extremism and makes it indirectly through the definition of the terms, the extremist group (§ 129 paragraph 3), the extremist material (§ 130 paragraph 8.9) and the specific extremist motive (§ 140 letter d and f). [1]

What do individual sections contain? If they are logically linked up to each other we can indirectly define the term extremism. § 140a says:

“Crimes of Extremism are the crimes of supporting and promoting groups aimed at suppressing fundamental rights and freedoms under § 421 and 422, the production of extremism materials according to § 422a, dissemination of extremist materials according to § 422b, possession of extremism materials according to § 422c, defamation of nation, race and conviction under § 423, the incitement to national, racial and ethnic hatred under § 424, incitement, defamation and threats to persons belonging to any race, nation, nationality, color, ethnic origin or gender under § 424A and the offense committed of special motive under § 140d and § 140f.“

It logically comes out who puts these acts into practice. This brings us to an extremist group § 129, paragraph 3, which reads: “The extremist group for the purposes of this Act means conspiracy at least of three persons for the purpose of committing the crime of extremism“.

Of course, the members of these groups produce, use, or present the extremism material, which is also in the Criminal Code in § 130, section 8 and 9 defined as follows:

“(Paragraph 8) by the extremism materials for the purposes of this Act, it is comprehended a written, graphic, video, sound or image and sound execution:

  1. a) Texts and declarations, banners, badges, passwords or symbols, groups and movements that lead to the suppression of basic human rights and freedoms,
  2. b) Programs or ideologies, groups and movements that lead to the suppression of basic human rights and freedoms,
  3. c) Advocating, promoting or inciting hatred, violence or unjustifiably different treatment to an individual or group of persons because of their belonging to any race, nation, nationality, colour, ethnic origin, gender or origin of their religion, if it is a pretext for the above reasons,
  4. d) Approving or justifying acts considered by Article 6 of the Statute of the International Military Tribunal of Justice, annexed to the Agreement of 8 August 1945 for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, and other relevant articles of the Statute of the International Criminal Court established under the international law, the power of which was recognized by the Slovak Republic, for genocide or a crime against humanity if the perpetrator or participant in the crime was convicted by the international court established under the international public law, whose jurisdiction is recognized by the Slovak Republic, whether such judgment was not in the prescribed procedures cancelled, or
  5. e) Denying or seriously defaming offense considered by Article 6 of the Statute of the International Military Tribunal of Justice, annexed to the Agreement of 8 August 1945 for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, and other relevant articles of the Statute of the International Criminal Court established under the international law, the power of which was recognized by the Slovak Republic, for genocide or a crime against humanity if the perpetrator or participant in the crime was convicted by the international court established under the international public law, whose jurisdiction is recognized by the Slovak Republic.

(Paragraph 9) The material is considered to be extremist in accordance with paragraph 8, if it is produced, expanded, put into circulation or made publicly accessible or harbored with intention to incite hatred, violence or unjustifiably different treatment against an individual or a group of persons because of their belonging to a race, nation, nationality, color, ethnic origin, gender or origin of their religion, if it is a pretext for the foregoing reasons and a replica of extremist material or its imitation, which is interchangeable with the original.

The law has defined a specific extremist motive. If this motive leads members of extremist groups to commit crimes of extremism, the circle is concluded and from these various facts the extremism can be actually quite good defined.

Let us come back yet to § 140d and f letter that says what a special extremist motive means:

“By a special motive we comprehend a criminal offense

  1. d) With an intent to publicly incite to violence or hatred directed against a group of people or individuals for their belonging to any race, nation, nationality, color, ethnic origin, gender or origin of their religion, if it is a pretext for threatening to the previous reasons,
  2. f) Of national, racial or ethnic hatred or hatred based on the skin color.

Based on this information, we could try to define what is considered as extremism. From the individual sections, it results that it might refer to verbal, graphic, physical, or other activities associated with strong ideological or other contexts that are developed by individuals or groups of individuals with significant views not coinciding with generally accepted social norms that possess distinctive elements of intolerance. It refers particularly to racial, ethnic, religious, or other personal hatred, which attacks democratic principles, social organization, life, health, property or public order.

Theoretical definition of extremism is certainly necessary for society. The more important fact is how the various forms of extremism are subdued in practice and what the success of prevention is like and how much money we spend on various ways of combating this socially unhealthy phenomenon. One of the sources which is the most reliable and comprehensive and statistically evaluates these crimes, are documents taken over by the government. “Report on the implementation of tasks arising from the concept of the fight against extremism in the period 2007 – 2010“.

In chapter “1.1 Crimes of extremism and racially motivated crimes in the period of 2007 – 2010 the evaluation of crimes that can be regarded as manifestations of extremism is reviewed “: [2]

“In 2007 the Slovak Republic recorded a total of 155 crimes with a racial motive. 88 crimes were solved, which is 56.8% of the total incidence of crime.

Total of 125 offenders were identified, of which 11 persons were minors and 39 persons were juveniles.

In terms of composition of this crime, the following cases were recorded:

4 cases of body harm due to ethnic, racial or ethnic hatred or hatred based on the skin color (§ 155 paragraph, section 1, section 2 point c) and § 156 paragraph, 1, 2 point b) of the Criminal Code);

23 cases of racially motivated violence (defamation of nation, race and conviction under § 423 and incitement to national, racial or ethnic hatred under § 424 of the Criminal Code);

128 cases of crimes against humanity (supporting and promoting groups aimed at suppressing fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with § §421 and 424 of the Criminal Code).

Racially motivated murder was not recorded.

In 2008, the Slovak Republic recorded total of 213 crimes with a racial motive. 132 crimes were solved, which is 62% of the total incidence of crime.

Total of 218 offenders were identified, out of which 4 persons were minors and 52 persons were juveniles.

In terms of composition of this crime the following cases were recorded:

2 cases of body harm due to ethnic, racial or ethnic hatred or hatred based on skin color (§ 155 paragraph. 1, paragraph 2 point. c) and § 156 paragraph 1, 2 a. b) of the Criminal Code);

33 cases of racially motivated violence (defamation of nation, race and conviction under § 423 and incitement to national, racial or ethnic hatred under § 424 of the Criminal Code);

178 cases of crimes against humanity (supporting and promoting groups aimed at suppressing fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with § § 421, 424 of the Criminal Code).

In 2008 there was an increase of 58 crimes with a racial motive, which makes a total increase of 38.6% compared with 2007.

Racially motivated murder was not recorded.

In 2009, the Slovak Republic recorded total of 132 crimes with a racial motive. 68 offenses were clarified, which is 51.52% of total incidence of crime.  A total of 79 offenders were identified, of which 4 persons were minors and 15 individuals were juveniles.

In terms of composition of this crime the following cases were recorded:

Four cases of a body harm with a specific motive (ethnic, racial or ethnic hatred under § 155 paragraph 1 and paragraph. 2 point. C of the Criminal Code);

7 cases of racially motivated violence (defamation of nation, race and conviction under § 423 of the Criminal Code);

9 cases of racially motivated violence (incitement to national, racial or ethnic hatred under § 424 of the Criminal Code);

112 cases of crimes against humanity (supporting and promoting groups aimed at suppressing fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with § § 421, 424, production of extremism materials according to § 422a, disseminating extremism materials under § 422b and possession of extremism materials in accordance with § 422c of the Penal Code).

In 2009 there was a decrease by 81 racially motivated offenses which makes a total decline of 38.02% compared to 2008.

Racially motivated murder was not recorded.

In 2010, the Slovak Republic totally registered 114 crimes of extremism and racially motivated crimes. 81 crimes were solved, which is 92.34% of total incidence of crime. A total of 70 offenders were identified, of which 1 person was a minor, and 10 persons were juveniles.

In terms of composition of this crime the following cases were recorded:

77 cases of criminal extremism specified in § 140a (supporting and promoting groups aimed at suppressing fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with § § 421, 422/1, 422b, 422c, 423/1 point A and, 423/1 point B of the Criminal Code, incitement to national, racial or ethnic hatred under § 424/1 of the Criminal Code, incitement, defamation and threats to their persons belonging to any race, nation, color, ethnic origin or gender under § 424A /1 of the Criminal Code,

37 cases of crimes committed with the use of special motive under § 140 point. d), f) (inciting to violence or hatred belonging to any race, nation, nationality, color, ethnic origin, gender or origin of their religion).

In 2010 there was a decrease by 18 crimes of extremism and racially motivated crimes which makes a total decline of 23.76% compared with 2009.

Racially motivated murder was not recorded.

 

Table 1 – Review of extremism and racially motivated crimes

Year

 

 

 

Crimes of extremism and  racially motivated crimes Clarified Clarified
in %
Offenders
2007 155 88 56,8 125
2008 213 132 62 218
2009 132 68 51,52 79
2010 114 81 92,34 70

This survey shows us that except of 2008, the extremist crimes had a declining trend. What were the causes of this fact, which was officially presented by the Government, was stated in the same report, of which the government took into consideration on 06/08/2011.

In Chapter 2, “Evaluation of the concept of the fight against extremism and its impact on the elimination of the offending extremism and racially motivated crime” states the ways and forms, how the state authorities treated this plague during the reporting period and what forms of struggle against the extremism are being planned for the future. Let us go to a specific report:

“The conception priorities to combat extremism in the period 2007 – 2010 were fulfilled by the recodification of legislation through cultural events and professional lectures and seminars. The first interim report on implementation of tasks arising from the concept of combating extremism for 2006 was adopted by Government Resolution no. 841 of 3 October 2007, where at the same time in point D tasks D.1, D.2 were deleted by Government Resolution no. 368 of 3 May 2006. By this act the government cancelled the task to evaluate the concept of an annual evaluation and set a deadline of evaluation by 30 May 2011. The move brought confusion in the implementation of the tasks and informing the public about the concept of meeting the objectives of combating extremism. [3]

The evaluations sent by some entities that should have had an interest in meeting the objectives of the concept had been inadequate. The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic advises to solve the situation in the new draft version of the concept of combating extremism for the period 2011 – 2014, whilst it will regularly evaluate the meeting of tasks set, by which it will monitor the rigorous implementation of the objectives of combating extremism concept. The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic expects greater involvement and initiative of the individual entities in meeting the objectives of the concept.

The issue of extremism is especially visible in the public manifestations of racism and intolerance. Extremism is one of the most dangerous anti-social phenomena of modern democratic society. The hallmark of each society like this is its diversity spectrum of opinions and attitudes. Due to the multi-layered nature of the phenomenon of extremism is very difficult to exactly specify the person who is or is not the extremist, as the boundaries between radicalism, extremism and “normality” are still very broad and vaguely worded. Its precise definition and description that would be generally accepted, has not yet been formulated.

Each society has set up mechanisms to combat extremism. In the Slovak Republic, one of the most important documents is the concept of the fight against extremism. The concept of the fight against extremism is a long-term nature of the document, which sets out the objectives and specifies them into particular action.

The aim of the concept of the fight against extremism is to develop effective measures and activities aimed at the protection of citizens and society from antisocial acts of extremist individuals, groups and movements. In fulfilling the objectives of the concept and dynamics of the development of extremism in the Slovak Republic, the necessity of changes in the insight of extremism has arisen. The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic wants to begin to solve this need in the new version of the concept of combating extremism for the period 2011 – 2014. It is necessary to start to perceive extremism not through the customary division into right-wing extremism, left-oriented and religious extremism, but through the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The concept of the fight against extremism unified entities participating in the issue of extremism and racially motivated crime and the consistent fulfillment pointed to the need for change and understanding of looking at this issue. It may be pointed out that stakeholders largely implemented the measures that resulted from the design concept of updating measures to combat extremism. However, it is necessary that a new version of the fight against extremism should take over the execution of tasks such as education, which seems to be a key part in achieving goals of the concept of combating extremism. It is not possible to forget the fact that extremism is still evolving and gaining more and more dynamism. Therefore, it is necessary, that legislative measures should evolve in the same way as extremism develops in society. Extremism has the breeding ground in ignorance and lack of awareness. It is therefore desirable that updated version of the fight against extremism should cover the information area.

The issue of extremism and related adverse events were taken into account by all relevant government authorities. The bearers of broad prevention activities directed at the area of education and awareness were especially departments of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and last but not least, the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Interior has roofed the interdepartmental co-operation for a coordinated approach in the fight against extremism through multidisciplinary integrated group of professionals focused on the elimination of racially motivated crime and extremism established in interdepartmental coordination body for the fight against crime.

The supranational phenomenon of extremism, its existence in various forms throughout Europe, requires constant attention from the authorities as a whole and first of all the effective international cooperation. Therefore a priority of extremist policy remains consistent efforts to detect and punish manifestations of extremism and efforts to eliminate its visible and latent forms. In this context, the emphasis will be put on a strict punishment for the dissemination of ideas and manifestations of neo-Nazism, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance.”

Funding projects to stop violent extremism

From this part of the report, it can be concluded that the authorities are systematically trying to approach the suppression of this unhealthy social phenomena. How it should look like in the future, an essential document in the fight against extremism presents, which is “a concept to fight extremism in the years 2011 – 2014”, [4] that was adopted on 8 June 2011 by Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic no. 379/20. However, the financial funds are necessary for its implementation. We can at least roughly imagine what amount the State allocates for these activities when we look into the state budget, particularly in the individual chapters of ministries and central government authorities.

 

Table 2 – Ministries chapters and central government bodies

Budget expenditure in  

In total (€)

 

Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic

Slovak Information Service  

General Prosecutor´s Office

2009 14 108 693 753  928 812 750   42 385 647 59 017 760
2010 16 276 999 960  838 574 955   43 299 886 62 502 886
2011 16 957 772 816  860 606 801   38 946 174 61 137 659

Why financial funds of these government bodies are just crucial for the fight against extremism? They are just those who are mostly involved in the elimination of the causes, manifestations and consequences of extremism and racially motivated crimes as set out in the “Concept of the fight against extremism for the years 2011 – 2014.”

The results in this work will be achieved when the funds will be effectively used from the planned budgets in the individual sections of central authorities on specific activities listed in the “Concept ….:”

  1. Changes and amendments of legal mechanisms.
  2. Effective protection against extremism and racially motivated crime.
  3. Systematic training of the particular professional groups that in the execution of their profession have the influence to prevent extremism and racially motivated crime.
  4. Raising of legal awareness and informing the public.
  5. Implementation of commitments resulting from international treaties and agreements in the field of extremism and racially motivated crime.”

My goal was to highlight the legal and financial options of our country to fight against extremism. How they will be used we will see in the following years. However, we should realize we are the state. Without our active approach to combat this plague we will hardly succeed.

References

  1. The Criminal Code of the Slovak Republic, zakonypreludi.sk › … › 2005
  2. Report on the performance of tasks arising from the concept of the fight against extremism in 2007 – 2010, https://lt.justice.gov.sk/.
  3. The first interim report on the implementation of tasks arising from the conception of the fight against extremism in 2006, rokovania.sk
  4. The concept of the fight against extremism for the period 2011-2014, minv.sk/?extremizmus
  5. The state budget for 2009, 2010, 2011, finance.gov.sk

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