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European Commission - Statement

Statement by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, and Commissioners Marianne Thyssen, Vĕra Jourová and Corina Creţu, ahead of International Roma day on Saturday 8 April 2017:

Brussels, 7 April 2017

"Equal treatment and fundamental rights are the corner stones of the European Union. Roma have faced a long history of social exclusion and prejudice. Europe's largest minority - with 6 million Roma living in the EU - continues to be discriminated against and marginalised.

We are determined to continue the fight anti-gypsyism and to push for the full integration of Roma in all EU societies and countries.

Since 2011, the European Commission has been working closely with Member States to fight discrimination and advance the social and economic inclusion of Roma, especially through Cohesion Policy investments in social integration, human capital and urban regeneration projects. While we have made some progress, much more still needs to be done to improve the daily lives of Roma and to build an inclusive society.

We call on Member States to accelerate their efforts to support Roma: every EU country should respect and enforce anti-discrimination laws; all Roma children should have access to non-segregated education; national authorities should prevent forced evictions and support access to housing. More generally, we urge Member States to demonstrate political commitment and set out a long-term vision for combatting discrimination and fighting anti-gypsyism.

As decided by Social Affairs Ministers in December 2016, the Commission will launch an evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. This evaluation will assess the impact of the European and national instruments put in place so far and provide ideas on how to improve the strategy and make it more effective in promoting Roma inclusion.

Integration and acceptance starts on an individual level, and we call on all EU citizens to acknowledge and embrace the equality of Roma and to recognise that Roma history and culture play a unique role

 

For more information:

EU Roma policy

2016 Council conclusions on Roma Integration

Press release: annual report on Roma integration strategies (June 2016)

Factsheet: Progress made by EU Member States in Roma Integration

 

STATEMENT/17/866

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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