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October 10, 2015
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EP: Two Roma MEPs elected

Strasbourg, France, 26.5.2014 17:32, (ROMEA)
Soraya Post (left) and Damian Draghici (right) became MEPs in 2014. (Collage:
Soraya Post (left) and Damian Draghici (right) became MEPs in 2014. (Collage:

Roma people will occupy a total of two seats in the newly-elected European Parliament (EP). Soraya Post, a Roma activist and human rights fighter from Sweden, led the candidate list of the Feminist Initiative to victory yesterday.

Post will also continue in her position as Vice-Chair of the European Roma and Travellers Forum as well. The other MEP of Roma nationality is Damian Drăghici of Romania. 

The success of Soraya Post is significant given the topics that she might be able to shore up at the EP and win more attention for. According to her campaign statements, the presence of a feminist representative could enhance the effort to enforce certain current issues, such as that of equality between men and women or the fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination on the basis of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.  

Rising anti-Romani tendencies in various European states should also become a more-discussed topic. "If I am elected to the EP, the first thing I will attempt will be to push for the establishment of a European Commissioner on Equal Rights and the Fight against Racism," Post said during her campaign. 

Damian Drăghici is currently a senator in the Romanian Parliament and an adviser to the Romanian Prime Minister on Roma issues. He ran on the Social Democratic ticket during the EP election.

Currently only 15 of the 766 MEPs come from or somehow represent ethnic or religious minorities, which does not correspond to the reality of an EU in which more than 10 % of the population belongs to some minority. Up to now only three Roma had ever won seats since direct elections to the EP began in 1979.

The first Roma MEP, from 1986 - 1999, was Juan de Dios Ramírez of Spain, followed by the 2005 election of Lívia Járóka and the 2006 election of Viktória Mohácsi, both from Hungary. Nevertheless, more and more Roma candidates are turning up on the candidate lists of various parties throughout Europe. 

voj,, ERTF, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Evropa, EU, European Parliament, human rights, Politika, Sweden, EU volby


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Czech Republic: Activists sentenced for stunt to draw attention to a suicide say police made hateful, racist remarks

8.10.2015 5:31
News server Aktuálně.cz reported on 6 October that a verdict has been handed down in the case of two activists who tried to draw attention in June to the story of a man from Ostrava who committed suicide out of fear that he would become homeless after his eviction from a residential hotel. The local authority where the man was living did not approve his request for housing benefits, which meant he would no longer be able to afford to stay in the facility.
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Czech School Inspectorate: Objections to counting Romani pupils in the schools are absurd pretexts

7.10.2015 2:43
Yet another "head count of Romani children" has just been completed in the Czech Republic's primary schools. The tally was conducted at all primary schools and was designed to produce information about how many Romani children are attending "special" schools, whether the practice of segregated classes (or entire schools) is operating at "normal" schools and of so, to what degree.
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Vice-Mayor of Czech Republic's second-largest city calls xenophobia the national hobby

6.10.2015 6:06
Brno Vice-Mayor Matěj Hollan (Žít Brno - Live Brno) has engaged in a sharp exchange with South Moravian Governor Michal Hašek over comments Hollan made about xenophobia in Czech society. "[During the Holocaust] there was majority-Czech anti-Semitism, which we love to forget about today, and the anti-Gypsyism of that time, which a big segment of society dismisses today, because to this day verbally sending 'Gypsies' to the gas chambers is the national hobby. These are modes of behavior and thought that are deeply rooted among the Czech public. Reading the debates today about Muslim refugees is essentially absolutely the same as reading the remarks that used to be made about the Jewish refugees. Back then the Jews (and the 'Gypsies') were to blame for everything, and today it's the Muslims (and the 'Gypsies')," Hollan wrote.
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