European Commission President calls on EU Member States to combat discrimination against Romani people
Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA) reports that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking ahead of European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day this Sunday, 2 August, called on Friday for all EU Member States to protect the Romani minority from discrimination and racism. "Europe has a duty to protect its minorities from racism and discrimination," she said in a joint declaration with Věra Jourová, European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Helena Dalli, the European Commissioner for Equality.
"We must replace antigypsyism with openness and acceptance, hate speech and hate crime with tolerance and respect for human dignity, and bullying with education about the Holocaust," their joint declaration reads. The European Commission officials also remind the public that the number of those who were direct witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust and the number of those who survived it are continually shrinking as people pass away.
"It is our duty, now more than ever, to continue their work of memory and to pass on their testimonies," reads the declaration, which also mentions the recently deceased Raymond Gurême, who fought against Nazism. During the night of 2 August and the early morning hours of 3 August 1944, the Nazis murdered the last remaining prisoners of what was called the "Gypsy Family Camp" at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
More than 4 200 Romani and Sinti people were murdered in one evening. Annually on 2 August, Romani people from all over Europe commemorate Roma Holocaust Memorial Day for that reason.
"Remembering their persecution reminds us of the need to tackle the challenges they still face today and which are too often overlooked," the European Commission officials' declaration states. The European Commission President believes that all 27 Member States of the EU should pledge to achieve social justice and equality in all areas of life.
Earlier this week the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, warned from Geneva, Switzerland that attacks on and intimidation of Romani people have been happening in recent years more and more frequently. He said that in association with the COVID-19 pandemic, racist untruths targeting Romani people have appeared on social media.
During the 17 months of the existence of the Auschwitz extermination camp's so-called "Gypsy Family Camp" (from February 1943 to July 1944), a total of 23 000 children, men and women were imprisoned there. Approximately 21 000 Romani and Sinti prisoners, female and male, perished in that camp.
Romani prisoners were also murdered in the concentration camps of Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór and Treblinka. Others, whose numbers can only be estimated with difficulty, were shot to death and buried in mass graves in forests.
Nazi Germany's extermination policy led, according to estimates, to the death of at least half a million Romani and Sinti people from all over Europe. Some estimates assume as many as 800 000 victims, equivalent to anywhere between one-fourth and one half of the prewar Romani population.
- Czech MEPs welcome European Commission lawsuit against Austria over different allowances for non-expatriate children of EU workers
- European Commission sending millions of euro for independent media to combat disinformation
- European Commission calls for public recommendations about its Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies by 16 March
- European Commission seeks public feedback on European Social Fund activities, deadline 24 February
- Italian Police evict almost 400 Romani people from homes they have lived in since 2005, European Commission says it cannot take legal action
- European Commission presents new form of EU Social Funds after 2020
- European Commission: Number of Roma youth not in school and unemployed in the Czech Republic is rising
- Czech Republic has one month to explain its refusal to redistribute refugees to European Commission
- Christian Democrat chair says Czech Republic should have taken in 10 refugees more to avoid European Commission censure
- European Commission reports Roma six times more likely to be poor in the Czech Republic than non-Roma
- European Commission: Internet giants must combat hatred more
- European Commission agrees with social media companies on a common approach against online hate
- European Commission launches infringement proceedings against Hungary over discrimination of Romani children
- At remembrance event, chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust says Okamura is one of the Czech politicians agitating against Romani people
- LIVE BROADCAST TODAY AT NOON: Commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku
- Council of Europe's INSCHOOL project promotes inclusion in schools throughout the Czech Republic
- EU Commissioners on 8 April: Europe has a long way to go to achieve real equality for Romani people
- Czech clergyman proposes the readers themselves choose the names of Holocaust victims to be read on Yom Hashoah this year, whether Jewish or Romani
- Prague Forum for Romani Histories: Joint commemoration of the Jewish and Romani victims of the Holocaust should inspire others
- Terezín Initiative in Czech Republic does not want Romani names included in Shoah commemoration, director of its Institute disagrees
- LIVE BROADCAST NOW! EU Anti-Racism Summit
- EU Commission: States have to show improvement for Roma if they expect to draw funding
- Civil society skeptical as to whether EU Member States will align with European Commission's 10-year Roma Strategy
- Miroslav Klempár: I do not believe the European Commission's new 10-year plan to support Roma will apply to the Czech Republic!
- European Commission VP Věra Jourová: Not enough was done during the last decade for Roma, the EC is launching a new 10-year plan