The European Parliament today backed a resolution calling for the next European Commission to make improving the lives of Roma people, ensuring their rights are respected, and stepping up the fight against anti-Gypsyism, a priority. The resolution made clear that there is a need for a strengthened, Strategic EU Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies after 2020.
S&D Group spokesperson on Roma issues, Soraya Post said:
“Roma are the biggest ethnic minority group in Europe. Large numbers are still deprived of their fundamental rights, living in poverty, and facing extreme discrimination and social exclusion. This is not a faraway problem, these people are European citizens, which makes national government and the EU’s failure to act even more shocking. Progress can only start with recognition of the crimes committed against Roma people in the past, with a truth and reconciliation process to build trust between Roma communities and mainstream society, in order to take a shared commitment for a better, united future, and to create a healthy European society, free from anti-Gypsyism.
“Over the last mandate, we have been working hard to ensure that the births of all Roma children are registered without discrimination and that they have the same access to education as all other children. All Roma should have easy access to safe and clean drinking water, electricity and should not be forced to move to other EU countries to beg for a living. These are not extravagant demands, they are basic rights that all EU citizens would expect to be met.
“The next Commission must make this an absolute priority, with clear targets, timelines and indicators to monitor progress. The treatment of Roma people remains Europe’s greatest shame, whoever leads the next Commission must commit to finally changing this. We want the EU to remain true to its democratic values, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and the rule of law – also concerning the rights of Roma.”