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S&D Group: More must be done to tackle anti-Gypsyism and improve opportunities for Roma communities


08 Apr 2016


Justice & Home Affairs

On International Roma Day, the S&D Group has called on the Commission and national governments to take concrete action to improve the situation of Roma people. Effective action needs to be taken to combat anti-gypsyism and governments must recognise a European Memorial Day of the Roma Holocaust that was adopted by the European Parliament on 15 April 2015.
S&D Spokesperson for Roma affairs, Soraya Post said:
 "Today is the 45th International Roma Day.  Due to a deeply rooted anti-gypsyism in Europe, Roma still face persistent discrimination, exclusion and lack of opportunities in the EU. The persistence of discrimination against Roma communities is a stain on Europe's conscience. The European Commission needs to step up the fight against anti-gypsyism and push member states to take real action to achieve equal rights for Roma. An EU high representative against racism is needed in order to make the fight against anti-gypsyism and other forms of racism a priority. Member states need to set ambitious targets and national and local authorities have to be serious about implementing concrete and effective measures in order to improve the situation of the Roma, or nothing will change."
S&D MEP Damian Draghici, added:
"A recent survey from the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency highlighted that every second Roma reported having been discriminated against and every fifth had been the victim of a racist assault. This is unacceptable. We are here, living together within European society for 1000 years. We share the same history and our cultural interaction has always been based on sharing.  
“We have had so many strategies and commitments for improving the situation for Roma but way too few actual actions and results. Everyone involved – from European level, national and local level – must take serious measures to improve the situation. The measures have been agreed by member states, it is now just a question of having the political will to actually implement them. Do people still need more awareness raising on the urgency of the situation facing Roma in the EU?”


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