Roma Week at the European Parliament: 40 young Roma discuss antigypsyism with MEPs
Activists, experts, organizations working to combat persistent hatred of Romani people in Europe, and politicians have finished the third annual Roma Week at the European Parliament and other EU institutions, which began on 8 April 2018, International Romani Day. According to the organizers, the aim of Roma Week is to bring together Romani activists, experts and youth from the European states in order to contribute to developing a European strategy against antigypsyism and to discussing options for addressing the situation of Romani people throughout Europe.
Roma Week 2018 followed up on the work of previous years with conferences and discussions focusing on antigypsyism, the temporary outcomes of the Framework Program for Roma Integration to 2020, and proposals of changes for the renewed version of that program post-2020. "It is necessary to make Romani people visible in this house of democracy. Romani people are not here - I am one, [MEP] Livia Járóka is one and [MEP] Damian Drăghici is one. There are not many of us here, though, and I want to make us Roma visible," MEP Soraya Post told news server Romea.cz.
The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and its Documentation and Cultural Centre, ERGO Network, and ternYpe International Roma Youth Network held a seminar for young Romani activists as part of Roma Week where those attending acquired information about EU politics and the opportunities available to civic initiatives and institutions involved with the situation of Romani people in Europe. The aim of the seminar was to prepare active young Romani people to become key actors of change in combating antigypsyism and improving the position of Romani people in Europe.
"This Roma Week is very important for us. It brings the subject of Romani people to the European Parliament. We believe this topic can only be discussed effectively when Romani people are part of the discussion," ERGO director Gabriela Hrabaňová told news server Romea.cz.
The EU has adopted two main documents on combating antigypsyism: The EP resolution of 15 April 2015, adopted on the occasion of International Romani Day, acknowledged antigypsyism as a specific form of racism against Romani people and announced the EU day for commemorating the Romani victims of genocide during the Second World War. An EP resolution dated 25 October 2017 referenced various aspects of Romani people's fundamental rights and their integration into the EU.
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