With regards to the European Parliament’s plenary session about the Implementation of and follow-up to the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, together with our partners in the Alliance against Antigypsyism we ask MEPs to call upon the other institutions to continue after 2020 a renewed EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies which should address antigypsyism as a central priority.

Read our letter below:

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Dear Member of the European Parliament,

This evening you have an important opportunity to address the European Council and Commission during the European Parliament’s plenary session about the Implementation of and follow-up to the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.

This is a crucial moment to bring forward our discussions of the EU Roma Week that took place in April in the European Parliament, and in particular the recommendations of the European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2017 on fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism (2017/2038(INI)).

Based on this resolution, we ask you to call upon the Commission and Council to continue after 2020 a renewed EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies which should address antigypsyism as a central priority.

  1. The EU Framework on National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 has brought improvements, especially in the field of inclusion of Roma in education, but has not managed to tackle the systemic cause of Roma exclusion. Therefore, there is a need for a new EU Framework on National Roma Integration Strategies that would benefit from a greater focus on the fight against antigypsyism. Member States and European institutions should recognize the responsibility of mainstream institutions to monitor and counter antigypsyism in order to ensure democratic values, the rule of law and fundamental rights and equal treatment of all citizens in our societies.
  2. The new framework should include and support financially specific measures to prevent and fight all the manifestations of antigypsyism and dedicate public funds to be used for these purposes, such as:
    1. Support structures and data collection methodologies that monitor antigypsyism systematically in all fields of society, while respecting fundamental rights principles;
    2. Support Roma civil society watchdog groups;
    3. Support and ensure meaningful Roma participation and empowerment to participate in designing and implementing joint policies;
    4. Support social awareness programs about antigypsyism targeting majority populations and trainings of professionals, especially those working in public administration, policy makers, police, prosecutors and judges.
    5. Support diversity policies ensuring representation of Roma in decision-making bodies
    6. Ensure inclusion of antigypsyism in National Action Plans against Racism as well as policy coherence and complementarity with the National Roma Strategy.
  3. Having a new EU Roma Framework is crucial. However, it must not hinder but strengthen the processes of mainstreaming the fight against Roma exclusion. Relevant mainstream policies, programs and structures should ensure targeting the phenomenon of antigypsyism too. The EU should commit human and financial resources specifically for programs directly addressing antigypsyism within the mainstream policies.
  4. The European Commission should establish a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to analyse the causes, manifestations and effects of antigypsyism, as well as to develop appropriate strategies and recommendations to counter antigypsyism at all levels.
  5. The European Commission should draft and implement an action plan (or guidance note) to monitor and combat antigypsyism in order to ensure efficiency of the equality legislation (EU Race Equality Directive), coherence between social inclusion outcomes (Roma Framework, EU 2020 strategy) and the adequacy of the legal and policy frameworks in place to reach these outcomes.

Further information

Press release by the “Alliance against Antigypsyism”, October 2017: European Parliament takes important step forward to address the fundamental rights of Roma

Press release and recommendations of the “Alliance against Antigypsyism”, December 2017: Antigypsyism on the agenda at EU’s High-Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance

Alliance against Antigypsyism: Reference Paper on Antigypsyism: http://antigypsyism.eu/

On behalf of

Gabriela Hrabanova, European Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network

Jonathan Mack, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

Violeta Naydenova, Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI)

Marius Tudor, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

Julie Pascoet, European Network Against Racism (ENAR)

Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez, ternYpe International Roma Youth Network