(Eniko Kovacs Hegedus, parliamentary member of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party, delivers a speech to hundreds of far-right supporters during a rally against the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly in Budapest May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told Jewish leaders on Monday that the European Union needed better legal means to fight racism in member states.

Speaking amid growing racism against Jews and Roma in Hungary, he told the World Jewish Congress (WJC) assembly that the EU’s legal options to curb violations of democratic norms were either as weak as toothpicks or as strong as bazookas.

“Between the toothpick and the big bazooka, there is not an instrument we can (use) if concerning developments start in a government or in a country,” he told WJC leaders, who held their assembly in Budapest to highlight rising anti-Semitism here.

“Tolerance is wise,” he said the four-yearly assembly, but “tolerance in the face of intolerance is historic foolishness”.