Saturday, April 10, 2010



The “Trio” of EU presidencies, made up of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, pledged Friday to ensure the European Union's financial instruments, in particular the Structural Funds, are made accessible to gypsies in order to improve their living conditions and ensure they are fully socially integrated.

This is the main commitment of the “Trio” in the so-called Córdoba Declaration, adopted at the Second European Summit on Actions and Policies in Favour of the Gypsy Population, held in Córdoba, Spain and attended by more than 400 Gypsy delegates.

The “Trio” warned that the "discrimination" and "social rejection" suffered by a “significant” number of European gypsies is worsening their situation, especially that of women and children.

In order to ensure that current EU financial instruments have an "effective impact" on gypsies' living conditions, the “Trio” is suggesting that the awarding of funds by the Union include minimum requirements, and is calling for funding award procedures to be "simplified" in order to guarantee equal opportunities.

Modifying the regulations of the European Social Fund and the Regional Development Fund would put into practice the three principles the Union is working towards: promotion of equality in access to resources, eradication of segregation and guaranteed overall development.

The “Trio” is also committed to improving the design of the European platform's gypsy integration "roadmap", setting out a medium-term framework for action and defining the objectives and results to be achieved.

It is also calling for strengthened horizontal cooperation between the member states and civil society, and says there is a need to take specific actions that will bring about social inclusion.

Spain's Minister of Equality, Bibiana Aído, bringing the summit to a close, condemned outbreaks of racism and the "all-too-frequent disagreements" between the EU and this minority, who have been treated as "objects rather than subjects" in social policies.

The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, also spoke out against discrimination against gypsies, pointing out that, due to the economic crisis, their situation has deteriorated because there is "great pressure on the finances of social policies".

Coinciding with the closure of the summit meeting, the Spanish Government approved an Action Plan to promote development among the gypsy population, with 107 million euros to be invested by 2012 to devise strategies against discrimination in Spain.

No comments: