Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FW: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma

Below is a statement of the European Rights Information Office in regards the European Council's Conclusions on the Roma. You can access the Council's conclusions directly by following the link at the end of this entry.

--- On Wed, 12/10/08, Morgan Ahern <; wrote:
From: Morgan Ahern <BR>Subject: FW: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma
Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 12:23 PM


From: on behalf of ERIO News
Sent: Wed 12/10/2008 12:06 PM
Cc: Ivan Ivanov
Subject: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma

European Roma Information Office
ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma
Roma need a stronger political response
ERIO, the European Roma Information Office, welcomes with some reservations the 2914th General Affairs European Council conclusions on the situation of the Roma minority in the European Union and in candidate and neighbouring countries, taken during its meeting on December 9th, 2008.
The EU governments' representatives justly recognise the state of deprivation experienced by Roma inside and outside of EU borders. Moreover, they aim at developing actions which take into account different sub-groups inside the Roma minority (the young, women, the elderly, etc.). Positively, the Council suggests those actions should be designed and implemented with the close involvement of Roma themselves.
However, the Council's conclusions are very deceiving when it comes to requests of practical action to the European Commission and to Member States for the inclusion of Roma.
Reading the conclusions, we can only find a weak call for taking into account "the situation of the Roma when designing and implementing policies to defend fundamental rights, combat poverty and discrimination and uphold gender equality, and ensure access to education, housing, health, employment, justice and culture, and where appropriate to identify specific actions for 2009 and 2010 to that end".
We believe that Roma need a stronger and more dedicated approach.
Furthermore, the emergency situation faced by the Roma cannot be solved only by a "better use of the Structural Funds, the Pre-Accession Instrument and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument", as the Council's document suggests.
If there is no specific policy on Roma, those funds can not be properly allocated.
Finally, the European Council only calls upon the Commission to do more paper work on the Roma which could prove useful (as in the exchange of best practices in the field of Roma inclusion) but with a very limited beneficial impact for the Roma minority.
What is really needed is a stronger European Roma strategy and ERIO will continue to advocating for this.
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy organization, which promotes political and public discussion on Roma issues by providing factual and in-dept information on a range of policy issues to the European Union institutions, Roma civil organizations, governmental authorities and intergovernmental bodies.
The ERIO cooperates with a network of a large number of organizations and acts to combat racial discrimination and social exclusion through awareness raising, lobbying and policy development.
Avenue Edouard Lacomble 17
Brussels 1040
Tel:      0032(0)27333462                      
Fax:     0032(0)27333875      
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