European Parliament takes important step forward to address the fundamental rights of Roma

Press release

European Parliament takes important step forward to address the fundamental rights of Roma

Brussels, 26 October

The European Parliament adopted yesterday the own-initiative report on “Fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism”, calling upon the European Commission and EU Member States to put the fight against antigypsyism at the forefront of efforts for the social and economic inclusion of Roma. The Alliance against Antigypsyism welcomes the report as another milestone of the European Parliament to address antigypsyism – the specific racism faced by Roma, Sinti and Travellers – and to ensure fundamental rights for Roma.

We now urge EU Member States and the European Commission to follow the recommendations of the European Parliament and place antigypsyism in the focus of the post-2020 EU Roma Framework, as well as to treat antigypsyism as a horizontal issue and develop practical steps for Member States to combat antigypsyism.

Romani Rose, chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, said: “It was a historical moment for our minority when the European Parliament passed a resolution for the recognition of the Holocaust of Sinti and Roma in April 2015. This resolution declares 2 August as the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, and calls upon the EU Member States to recognize the genocide, as well as antigypsyism as the root cause of exclusion. The newly adopted report builds upon this legacy and takes another step into the right direction”.

Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, director of ERGO Network, said: “The report calls for an end to the paternalistic treatment of Roma – an important step from regarding us Roma as mere clients – as well as to ensure equal access and enjoyment of fundamental rights. This is key since the institutions that are supposed to protect citizens from acts of discrimination and violence in practice all too often fail to extend the same level of protection to Roma as to non-Roma, precisely because of antigypsyism.”

Michael Privot, director of the European Network against Racism, said: “The report highlights the need to address the structural discrimination faced by Roma across Europe. The deplorable situation in which European Roma continue to live, eight years after the EU adopted measures for Roma inclusion, shows how urgent this is.”

There have been some positive developments to address antigypsyism at EU level, with the launch of infringement procedures by the European Commission against the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary regarding school segregation of Romani children, but more needs to be done.   We expect the Commission to equally address housing segregation and forced evictions in various member states, including Italy and Bulgaria. The European Parliament should also tackle antigypsyism within its own house and take disciplinary measures against Members of the European Parliament who use hate speech against Roma.

You can download the press release here.

For further information, contact:

ERGO Network: Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, Executive Director g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org

Tel: +32(0)2 893 10 49, mobile: +32 (0) 48 99 74 753

Notes to the editor:

  1. The ‘Alliance against Antigypsyism’ is a coalition of organizations that promote equality of rights for Roma and combat antigypsyism on institutional and societal level. The aim of the Alliance is to advance a better understanding of antigypsyism as a specific form of racism, and to strengthen the political will and institutional mechanisms in order to tackle antigypsyism in Europe. The Alliance is coordinated by the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO Network), the European Network against Racism (ENAR) and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.
  2. Please find the text of the report here.

 

the European Network Against Racism (ENAR)       

 

 

Call for RomaReact Online Competition

“Investing in our future: What work(s) for young Roma?”

DEADLINE EXTENDED!!

Participate, compete, win, travel to Brussels and present your story at ERGO Network’s public event in November!

To win, just follow three easy steps:

  • Share either an inspiring or a challenging story with one image (photo, painting, drawing or graphic), a video or a short story.
  • Upload your entry to the RomaReact platform by midnight, 5th November.
  • Wait to hear the results. If you win, we will see you in Brussels on 26/27 November 2017!

To submit your material, register at https://romareact.org/loginpage/. Then click on +New on the top of the RomaReact website and create a new post to upload your media and/or submit your story.

What is this contest about?

The competition is part of the launch of ERGO Network`s campaign “Investing in our future: What work(s) for young Roma?” to raise awareness of the obstacles young Roma face on the labour market and convince EU decision makers and national governments to invest in Roma youth employment.

The aim of this competition is to hear about striking and inspiring stories of Roma youth employment and to share your experiences with a broader public.

ERGO Network is inviting RomaReact followers to participate in our online competition and the launch of the campaign. We are looking for both inspiring and challenging examples and testimonies in employment. You can use a selection of genres to share your story: edit a video, write an essay, take a photo or draw a graphic.

The contest will close at midnight, Sunday 5th November.

Which stories are we looking for?

Think personal, think creative, think effective:

Share an interesting and inspiring story that had a positive or negative impact on you and/or your community. What support did you get in finding a job? What efforts did you take to get employed? What problems did you face? You can tell us your own story or capture the story of your neighbor, friend, cousin…

If you take part in the competition with an image, don’t forget to write a few lines explaining the image.

Convince the audience that our stories and our voice matter.

Terms and Conditions

Participants

This contest is for young Roma (16 years-35) from a European Union member state.

Materials to be submitted:

  1. One entry per contestant is allowed. Please submit one photo, video, drawing or a short piece of writing.
  2. You need to submit your entry together with a short description (max 100 words) to www.Romareact.org. Additionally, please e-mail them together with your personal details (see annex) to info@ergonetwork.org.

Winner selection and announcement 

The winners in the contest will be selected by the ERGO Network team after the deadline of 31st  October. Two winners will be invited to Brussels to present their story at ERGO Network`s public event on 27th November, before the start of the European Roma Platform. All costs (including travel from an EU member state, a guided city tour, accommodation, food) will be covered.

You warrant and undertake that entries submitted will not infringe intellectual property, privacy or any other right of any third party. You must ensure that any person or persons whose image, video or writing is used in an entry has given valid consent for the use of it or has waived any rights they may have in the material submitted. Failure to adequately demonstrate such consent may result in the entrant’s disqualification and forfeiture of any prize.

By participating, you agree to these terms and conditions and to the decisions of the selection committee, whose decisions are final and binding in all respects.

Further advice, information, assistance: info@ergonetwork.org

You can download here the call as pdf document.

ERGO Network has a new website!

With this newsletter, we present you our new website – more structured, more colourful and with a lot more content than before. We will regularly update the website with news from our members and institutional developments, upload documents, inform about ERGO projects and campaigns and update ERGO’s membership list.

Browse through ERGO’s and our members policy papers and find institutional policy documents on the Resources page.

Find out which organisations belong to the network on the Membership page.

Read more about ERGO’s work in the fields of Monitoring, Networking, Campaigning and Empowering.

We hope that you like the new online portal of ERGO Network and will be a regular visitor.

Roma Civil Monitor Workshop in Brussels

From 18-19 September, 21 representatives of (pro) Roma NGOs met in Brussels to start their involvement in the Roma Civil Monitor, a project building the capacity of Roma civil society and strengthening their systematic involvement in the monitoring of national Roma integration strategies.

The pilot project as a whole involves 91 NGOs from 27 EU Member States and is coordinated by the Central European University together with ERGO Network, the European Roma Rights Centre, Roma Education Fund and Fundacion Secretariado Gitano. ERGO Network supports organisations from Ireland, the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium in their monitoring work.

The workshop started with an introduction into the pilot project by ERGO’s Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova. Dora Husz (DG Justice) then explained how civil society monitoring fits in the ‘bigger picture’ of the monitoring of NRIS and the mid-term evaluation of the EU Roma Framework by the European Commission.  In the first year of the project, the NGOs will monitor policy implementation in the areas of governance, anti-discrimination and addressing antigypsyism; thematic sessions on each of these policy fields were held by the experts Adam Kullmann (CEU), Bernard Rorke (ERRC) and Gwendolyn Albert.  The workshops finished with discussing practical details for the next months and starting the cooperation between NGOs from the same country.

The first synthesis monitoring report will be published in spring 2018.

Antigypsyism at local level – recommendations from Romania

For the first time on 6 September 2017 in Ploiesti, ERGO together with its member Centrul de Resurse pentru Incluziune Sociala CRIS from Romania brought the topic of antigypsyism to the local level. Among the speakers were the Head of the European Commission’s Roma unit from DG Justice, Szabolcs Schmidt, representatives of the Romanian government and key actors from Romania who work on Roma issues.

ERGO’s Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova highlighted the importance of bringing up the issue of antigypsism at local level and of supporting institutions to understand its long term effects and its implications.

The mayor of the city of Ploiesti committed to reintegrate Roma people in his region.

Based on their experiences with working on the CLLD process, trainings with Local Action Group and their engagement at local level Asociatia Cris wrote a comprehensive recommendation paper addressed to the Mayor of Ploiesti with the aim of improving the situation of the local communities Mimiu and Catun.

The three main recommendations proposed are:

  • A more coherent design of intervention measures
  • A stronger role and participation of Roma
  • Combatting antigypsyism at the centre of policies.

To read the full paper with detailed recommendations from our member please click here.