European Commissioners and MEPs visit Romani settlements in Slovakia
The Slovak wire service TASR has reported that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) planned to directly investigate the accessibility of education and employment for those living in Romani settlements and the effectiveness with which EU money is being used to achieve improvements in the living situations of communities of marginalized Roma this week in Slovakia. A six-member delegation, led by Slovak MEP Lucie Ďuriš Nicholsonová, was slated to see for themselves the reality of four Romani settlements in the east of the country, including the Luník IX housing estate, where the working visit was to begin on 3 November and last through 5 November.
"It's quite important that MEPs obtain an overview of how the money is being spent in the Member States, in reality, for communities of marginalized Roma and what kind of shift has happened in Romani settlements after the investment of EU resources into the projects that were implemented there," Ďuriš Nicholsonová said. She recalled that in September 2020 the EP adopted a resolution asking that Romani people be given access to education, to healthcare services and to housing that is equal to the access enjoyed by the majority population.
The EP has pledged to monitor the fulfillment of such commitments, including their budgets, at EU level. In October 2020 the European Commission added its voice to that pledge by publishing its reformed EU Roma Strategic Framework in which a comprehensive approach to this aim is established on the basis of three pillars - equality, inclusion and participation.
The delegation was meant to include European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli and European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Nicolas Schmit. Commissioners and MEPs were to meet with the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community, Andrea Bučková, with the Slovak Public Defender of Rights, Marie Patakyová, with representatives of the Family, Labor and Social Affairs Ministry of the Slovak Republic, and with representatives of non-governmental organizations that have been implementing several successful projects regarding Romani people.
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