Stop anti-Roma discrimination - International Day of the Roma


07 Apr 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

Speaking on the occasion of April 8th, International Day of the Roma, German GUE/NGL MEP Cornelia Ernst recalled that in many EU Member States, Roma are subjected to many forms of discrimination in the labour market and in access to social services, education and housing. 

"The Roma are the largest ethnic minority in the EU - and also one of the poorest and fastest-growing groups" she said. “They are a central part of Europe's cultural heritage but deep-seated prejudices against Roma remain difficult to combat.”

"The Roma are tired of words - we must act immediately. Mere reference to existing EU directives on equal treatment and non-discrimination is not enough. These guidelines have not ended the marginalization of the Roma as their situation is still characterized by abject poverty and prejudice. We need a European Roma Strategy to ensure the EU enhances its flexibility and reduces red tape so that structural funds can actually benefit the Roma." 

With regard to the upcoming Second EU-Roma Summit on April 8th and 9th in Cordoba, Ernst criticized the very limited number of invitations sent by the Spanish Presidency, saying that the Spanish presidency was trying to downgrade the political significance of the summit.

Brussels, 7 April 2010


Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 646628

Sonja Giese + 32 486 94 50 21

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12


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