Which steps towards European policies against antigypsyism

Which steps towards European policies against antigypsyism

The aim of the seminar, organised by Open Society European Institute on 15 November 2016, was to explore how successful policy initiatives around education and reconciliation can be systematized and disseminated throughout Europe by fighting antigypsyism.

The event gathered representatives of governments, European institutions and Roma civil society to discuss in which direction policies designed for Roma are going and how they foresee to combat the negative rhetoric against Roma.

The Deputy Director of ERGO Network, Gabriela Hrabanova, highlighted the importance of the civil society’s role in monitoring hate speech and discrimination by having the tools to address and fight antigypsyism at the local level.  She stressed the importance of independent watchdogs organizations in Europe, which, when it comes to Roma discrimination, are missing. In support of those arguments, ERGO Network presented the reference paper against Antigypsyism of the Alliance Against Antigypsyism, written in cooperation with experts and endorsed by over 100 NGOs across Europe.

Find out more about the key aspects and dimension of antigypsism – a specific form of racism towards Roma at www.antigypsyim.eu.

The concluding remarks were done by Ethel Brooks – Associate Professor at Rutgers University, who stated “What do governments say about Anti-Gypsyism? What has been done? A lot has been said but now it is time for implementation”, “The time has come to deliver not just to talk”. Another remark made in the conclusions is that there is a need to strengthen the alliances among stakeholders and civil society and to start implementing the existing policies and legislation on human rights and hate speech and build a firm stand of political leaders against Anti-Gypsyism.