THE European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights cautioned on Monday that most EU countries fail to compile statistics on anti-semitism, complicating efforts to gauge the scale of the problem within the bloc.
Anti-semitic incidents often do not make it into official records because they are not labelled as such or because victims or witnesses do not report them.
The Vienna-based agency said that it did not have enough information to calculate an overall EU trend in anti-semitic activity for the period between 2001-8, but it noted that the data available showed a decrease in such offences in 2007 and 2008.
In France, for example, where the Interior Ministry collects and compiles data, the number of officially recorded anti-semitic incidents was lower in 2007 at 386 than at any year since 2001, when the tally was 219.
German government statistics showed that the number of anti-semitic incidents decreased to 1,561 in 2007 after peaking at 1,682 in 2005.
And Dutch authorities reported that 50 out of 216 discriminatory incidents in 2007 were anti-semitic in nature, roughly half as many as in 2006.