• 12-DEC-2013

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Roma People: EU Governments Must Stop Wasting Time

"There are six million EU citizens who face discrimination or risk being the victims of racist attacks every day because of their ethnic origin. This situation is utterly intolerable. The EU institutions and national governments must take the dramatic situation of the Roma people more seriously" urged S&D MEPs.

The European Parliament today adopted a new resolution on the European Commission's 2013 progress report on the implementation of the national Roma integration strategies. According to the Commission's report, little progress has been achieved since the introduction of the national strategies in 2011 and most EU countries have not yet even allocated sufficient resources from their national budgets.

Kinga Göncz MEP, S&D negotiator on the implementation of the national Roma integration strategies, said:

"In many places in Europe, Roma people are the victims of verbal and physical violence. EU member states must ensure that law-enforcement officials are trained in identifying and combating hate crime.

"The European Commission must monitor whether member states have transposed the Racial Equality Directive into national law and whether they are protecting people's freedom of movement, their right to settle and their right to live without discrimination. If this is not the case, then the Commission must launch infringement procedures.

"Another key issue is overcoming segregation in schools and making quality education accessible for Roma children.

Minodora Cliveti MEP, S&D negotiator on gender issues related to Roma integration, added: "Too little attention is paid to gender in the European strategy for Roma integration and I believe that the strategy should deal separately with the problem of integration for Roma women. This would help to reduce discrimination against women, both in their own communities and throughout society.

"The strategy should focus on collaboration between member states in order to avoid tension and should promote good practices and cross-border solutions, given the traditional mobility of Roma people. Also, it should provide specific measures for involving NGOs and the Roma themselves for solving the complicated European problem of integrating Roma people.

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