Roma Holocaust: we must never forget the victims. Lívia Járóka MEP and Augustín Díaz de Mera MEP
The EPP Group Roma Working Group held an open session today to commemorate the victims of the Roma Holocaust. EPP Group MEPs Lívia Járóka and Augustín Díaz de Mera highlighted the need to draw the conclusions of 20th century adversities and the initiative to recognise 2 August as an official European Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Roma Holocaust.
The EPP Group Working Group on Roma Inclusion dedicated an open session to commemorate Roma victims of the Holocaust with the participation of MEPs from different political groups, EU officials, as well as representatives of Roma and civil organisations.
The seminar was opened by MEP Augustín Díaz de Mera, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Legal and Home Affairs. In his speech, the Spanish MEP recalled the intensive persecution the Roma minority had to face during the Second World War. "The goal of this meeting is to learn from the past and unite our efforts to ensure that this deliberate ethnic cleansing process with such dramatic consequences will never be repeated in the future. I highly appreciate Ms Jaroka's efforts to preserve the memory of the victims, reinforcing peace and stability at the same time and confirming the unity of our continent as free and equal European citizens", Mr Díaz de Mera said.
Lívia Járóka MEP, Chairwoman of the EPP Group Roma Working Group and Rapporteur of the EU Strategy on Roma Inclusion, recalled that due to the lack of documentation and the scientific processing of historical events, the Roma Holocaust is still largely unknown to the general public. "Universities and research institutes must therefore be supported to raise the awareness of majority societies towards the long common history they share with Roma", she underlined. In her speech, the Hungarian MEP asked for participants' support in joint efforts to recognise 2 August as an official European Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Roma Holocaust.
During the event, the documentary film of the European Roma Information Office 'The untold story: Roma Holocaust' was presented, followed by a discussion.
Among the speakers were: Nicolae Gheorghe from the Pakiv European Roma Reflexion Group, Patrice Bensimon, Director of the Yahad In Unum Research Centre, Costel Nastasie, President of Dignités Roms, Ivan Ivanov, Director of the European Roma Information Office, Cecilia Wikström MEP (ALDE) and Mikael Gustafsson (MEP).
For further information:
Lívia JÁRÓKA MEP, tel.: +32-228-45218
Agustín DÍAZ DE MERA GARCÍA CONSUEGRA MEP, tel.: +32-228-45624
Miklos Panyi, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: +32-473 866137
Concepción Portero Zuniga, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: +32-470830566
Note to Editors
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.