Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO at ENAR Shadow Report launch event
On 6 May, ERIO representatives attended ENAR’s launching of their latest Shadow Report on racist crime. Findings show that most member states reported cases of racist crimes targeting Roma.

Read the key findings relevant to Roma here: www.erionet.eu/news
* First newsletter of MUSIC4ROM project
08/05/2015 - The first newsletter of the MUSIC4ROM project is now available here. Music4ROM is a project financed by the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme to build intercultural bridges and educate children in European citizenship through music This two-year project is a partnership of eight partners of which ERIO is part of, covering seven European countries: Belgium, Romania, Slovakia, UK, Italy, France and Spain.
Visit the project website: www.music4rom.com

OTHER news

* European Commission to decide whether proceedings against Czech Republic over Roma discrimination will continue
By ČTK, čon, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

The European Commission should decide next week whether to continue its infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic over discrimination against Romani children in the schools. EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová made the announcement in an interview with the Czech media yesterday.
"We want to see actual numbers, progress in this matter, not just what the law includes so far, which is how it looks now," the Commissioner noted. Should the Commission ultimately really decide to launch the next phase of the proceedings, the Czech Republic should receive a certain amount of time to correct the unsatisfactory state of affairs. If nothing changes after that, the Commissioner reminded the press that the matter could theoretically end up before the European Court of Justice. The Czech Republic is the first country against which the Commission has begun such proceedings over the discrimination of Romani people. On Wednesday the EU executive also launched an infringement proceeding against Slovakia in the same matter. The Commission usually publishes a monthly announcement of the steps it is taking against Member States whose legislation is not in accordance with EU rules.

Read more here
* Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon review – the untold story of the Romany Holocaust
By Sarah Crown

A Romany family overcomes incarceration and prejudice only to encounter the Nazis in a deeply involving debut novel
Over the last 70 years, the Holocaust has been established in the western world’s collective conscious as the ultimate expression of human evil. Its victims are remembered with horror and pity; no fate, we’re agreed, could be worse than to be among their number. Except, perhaps – as Lindsay Hawdon obliquely suggests in her debut novel – to be among the Holocaust’s forgotten victims; those such as the Romany people who, when they’re mentioned at all, are tacked on at the end of the roll call, restricted to a dependent clause.

Read more here
* New voice for Manchester's Roma gypsy community to stop 'dependency on others'
By Bedford Today

Students’ work to empower the Roma community in Luton through language and literacy has helped The University of Bedfordshire into the top 10 of Enactus universities in the UK.
 Bedfordshire students gave a strong presentation on Enactus Bedfordshire’s work with the Roma community, at the semi-finals of the Enactus national competition. Enactus is an initiative involving students, academics and business leaders committed to using entrepreneurial action to transform lives. The Roma community project, entitled Rewriting Fate, achieved second place nationally for the Diversity award at the finals, and came third in KPMG’s award for Inspiring Confidence and Empowering Change. Fending off teams from universities such as Warwick and Bristol, Bedfordshire’s team of nine students finished semi-final runners-up behind Nottingham.
Read more here
* A hard road for girls in Roma settlement

Women in the Roma settlement near Vidin, Bulgaria, seldom have more than two children. Tatiana Vaksberg, who lived there, says there's a good reason for their decision - and it's not just because money is short.
06/05/2015 - It can be tough to be a girl in the Roma settlement in Vidin. Teddy, who requested her real name not be used, figured that out long ago. It's the reason why she doesn't want to have children. More truthfully, she'd like to have children, but only boys. Her friend already has a child - "luckily, a boy" - but there is no way she wants a second: "If it were a girl then she'd have to get out of here, out of the country!"
I lived in the settlement for a month. During that time I met one mother of five children; the other women had one child or at most two children. They don't want to have more because money is tight. But that's not the only reason, there's another that people don't like to talk about, Teddy said.
The women don't want girls. They are afraid that female offspring will be doomed to the same fate they suffered. That of being married at 14 or 15, having to drop out of school early, no chance in the labor market, living solely to make sure that their husband is comfortable, and then becoming a grandmother at 30.
Read more here
* Slovak Police train Czech colleagues to work among Romani people
By ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Slovak police officers are training their Czech colleagues to work in Romani communities. A total of 76 officers from the Czech Republic are involved in the ongoing training visits to Slovakia.
Marianna Paulíková, spokesperson for the Slovak Police Presidium, informed the Czech News Agency of the program on 28 April. "The main aim of the visits by our Czech colleagues is to acquire experience in practice with the work of the Romani specialists in Slovakia," she said.
The visits are part of a Czech project focused on introducing the position of police specialists for work with Romani people in socially excluded localities in the Czech Republic. The project anticipates the training of several dozen officers from rank and file units to serve in Romani communities.
The project is being paid for by Norway Grants. The Czech Interior Ministryfirst proposed deploying police specialists to the ghettos in the Czech Republic in 2013.

Read more here
* Swedish Shanty Towns: Multiculturalism Meets Socialism
By John Gustavsson

14/05/2015 - Let me paint you a picture: Houses made out of plywood, or whatever materials can be found. Some of the better-off inhabitants may have cars to sleep in. No electricity, no shower or laundry facilities, actually no running water or sanitation whatsoever. Food is cooked over open fires, and that’s also the only way to get heating. The inhabitants spend their days begging outside the shops in the city. Any children living there do not attend school.
Where do you think that picture belongs? South Africa? Brazil? Moldova? How about Sweden?

Read more here
* Hungarian city pays Roma to move away, they are emigrating to Canada en masse
By min, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

14/05/2015 - Dozens of Romani families from the Hungarian city of Miskolc are moving to Canada. The Romani settlement there, where approximately 1 000 people used to live, will be replaced by a parking lot for the nearby football stadium, which is undergoing reconstruction.
The destruction of the Romani settlement began last year. "For reasons of public health and safety we can no longer tolerate the existence of urban slums," said Mayor Akos Kriza.
"We cannot ask more than 10 000 fans to walk through a Romani settlement every time they want to get the stadium," he said. In last year's election he was elected for the Fidesz party, and The Budapest Times reports that he co-opted the radical Jobbik party's anti-Romani politics in order to get votes.
Read more here
* Indian example may help Hungary's Roma
By The Budapest Times

Ambassador Mishra moved by plight of under-privileged
15/05/2015 - Indian Ambassador to Hungary Malay Mishra will end his 36-year career with the Indian Foreign Service in July but he plans his retirement to be Hungary’s gain as he continues a personal campaign to improve the lot of the marginalised Roma community.
Ambassador Mishra, who arrived in Budapest in September 2013, has spent the past eight months researching the plight of Roma as part of the Ph.D for which he is registered in the Institute for International Studies at Budapest’s Corvinus University. He is making a comparative study into the empowerment of marginalised groups in India, Hungary, Romania and the UK, with particular reference to Roma communities.
Read more here


* Urgent: Film Maker Volunteer at European Roma Information Office (ERIO)

Starting date: ASAP
Duration: May-June 2015 (approximately 5 days)
Salary: None – volunteer post
Location: Brussels
Closing date of application: 15 May 2015 at 12:00 (CET)
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is looking for a volunteer to participate in a short documentary to be filmed in the context of a European project which aims to improve Roma inclusion in primary schools across Europe. The documentary will consist of several small scenes picturing individuals, Roma and non-Roma, discussing every day topics such as school, sports, family/marriage, food and/or work. The scenes will be filmed in Brussels.

Although this is an unpaid position, the volunteer will have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience as he/she will be involved with every stage of the pre-production of the documentary (including filming and editing). This will also be a great opportunity for the volunteer to network with other European professionals and film makers from the UK, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria and to gain practical knowledge of the development of European level projects.
Contact us