European Roma Grassroots Organisations network to European Commission: Member States don't find discrimination a priority
On 26 February 2020, in the framework of the 2020 European Semester, the European Commission (EC) published its so-called Winter Package, comprising 28 "Country Reports 2020" (still including the United Kingdom), and its usual "Communication on Country Reports". The Brussels office of the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) network has issued a press release warmly welcoming explicit mention of the European Roma in the "Communication on the Country Reports", which states: “Equal access to high-quality education and training from an early age is also essential to promote equality of opportunities and to foster inclusion, including of underrepresented groups such as Roma...”.
ERGO is, however, disappointed that the Roma are mentioned exclusively under education and training. There are no references to the fact that Roma people in Europe face poverty and social exclusion at rates of over 80% in most Member States, that their employment, health, housing and other indicators are extremely low compared to the majority of the population, and that antigypsyism and discrimination against Roma continue to be rampant.
That approach is mirrored by the vast majority of the individual Country Reports included in the Package, according to ERGO Network and its national members. Read below the Key Messages derived from their analysis, and access the full analysis here.
ERGO's Key Messages on the Winter Package
1. Only six Country Reports explicitly refer to the Roma, despite most Roma across Europe experiencing severe discrimination, marginalization, segregation, poverty, poor living conditions, and very low employment, education, and health outcomes.
2. The National Roma Integration Strategies are not given enough prominence and support in the vast majority of Country Reports, evidencing that the EU Roma Framework has yet to be effectively integrated into the European Semester and its processes.
3. The national approach to Roma rights and inclusion continues to be piecemeal in most countries, while a comprehensive, integrated policy response, rooted in realities across all social areas and tackling antigypsyism, is lacking.
4. The approach to Roma communities is consistent with an unfortunate lack of prioritizing issues related to any ethnic minorities, or any issues related to discrimination, throughout the Country Reports.
5. Civil society organisations (CSOs) are only rarely mentioned as key partners in the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies; this lack of involving CSOs weakens the effectiveness of interventions and undermines civil society ownership of policy as well as democratic decision-making processes about policy.
- 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
- 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
- Members of the European Parliament urge European Commission to move EU-subsidized pig farm from Lety site
- 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
- European Commission President: Schengen is in a coma and must be resurrected or a united Europe is meaningless
- European Commission President Juncker: EU countries must not reject refugees because of Paris attacks
- European Commission wants concrete statistics on the integration of disadvantaged children into Czech schools
- European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network calls on EU to fund Romani "watchdog" groups
- European Commission reports on Roma integration: More work needed
- European Commission recommends the Czech Republic include Romani children in the education system
- Typical Roma? ERGO launches international campaign
- Czech lower house to review Govt agreement with expansion of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which advises on racism and other matters
- Czech biologist says COVID-19 Omicron variant has no problem defeating our immunity
- MEPs compare death of Stanislav Tomáš in the Czech Republic to that of George Floyd in the USA
- MEPs who visited Romani settlements in Slovakia shocked to see such horrifying living conditions in the EU
- European Commissioners and MEPs visit Romani settlements in Slovakia
- European Parliament will discuss police brutality against Romani people in EU, on the basis of Czech case
- Czech nonprofit Romodrom celebrates its 20th anniversary
- Austria's Die Presse: Covert racism is why Europe's Roma are worse off after COVID-19 pandemic
- Council of Europe's INSCHOOL project promotes inclusion in schools throughout the Czech Republic
- Czech Republic plans billions for "nonprofits", but half will go to sports - targeted Romani projects will receive exponentially less money
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency and OSCE say governments must deliver aid to Roma affected by COVID-19 pandemic
- Zeljko Jovanovic: The New Roma Politics of Self-Determination and Unity