ERGO Network meets new EU Commissioners

ERGO Network meets European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, and is part of the Social Platform delegation to meet Executive Vice Presidents Frans Timmermans (cabinet) and Valdis Dombrovskis

In the first months of 2020, ERGO Network took the opportunity to get to know three of the new EU Commissioners who are essential for our work towards fostering social inclusion of Roma and combatting antigypsyism and to convey our key messages.

On 28 January 2020, a delegation of 14 ERGO Network member organisations met with the new European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, to commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as to discuss about the challenges faced by Roma civil society organisations in fighting antigypsyism and advocating for Roma rights and inclusion, and a meaningful and participatory post-2020 Roma Strategy. “Roma people have been living in Europe for more than 700 years and have massively contributed to the richness of the European heritage. Yet, for centuries, European societies have turned a blind eye to racism and widespread discrimination of Roma people. We have to change that”, committed Commissioner Dalli. Topics discussed included:

  • combating antigypsyism as horizontal and stand-alone priority, in all its forms and manifestations, including through strong legislative measures;
  • a comprehensive, binding, EU Strategy for Roma inclusion that includes enlargement countries on equal footing, with concrete minimum standards, ambitious targets, and common monitoring at the EU level;
  • capacity-building, support and channels for Roma civil society to meaningfully engage in the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies that affect them;
  • prioritising Roma inclusion in the next MFF programming period, ensuring that Roma communities are involved in the delivery of European funds at the national and local level.

On 19 February, the ERGO Network was part of the Social Platform delegation to meet with the cabinet of European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, to put forward the Roma rights perspective in discussions about how to put social inclusion at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal in post-2020.

On 25 February, the ERGO Network was part of the Social Platform delegation to meet again with European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. We reiterated the importance of Roma-related indicators and data, the need for a specific investment priority on Roma, the importance of diversity, especially of including LGBTQIA+ Roma in the next EU Roma Framework, and the need to work together with civil society.

On 6 March, the ERGO Network was part of the Social Platform delegation to meet with European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of an Economy that Works for People. We stressed the importance of ambitious targets, common indicators, and a strong EU monitoring process for the post-2020 Roma Integration Strategies, and for poverty reduction and social objectives in general.