Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 26-02-2016

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO meets with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Permanent Study Group on Roma Inclusion
On December 01, 2015 ERIO’s Executive Director Ivan Ivanov was invited to the first meeting of the newly established Permanent Study Group on Roma Inclusion in the EESC. Mr. Ivanov was asked to give an overview of the EU policy framework for Roma inclusion and the state of play of implementation of this policy framework. Mr. Ivanov talked also about the problems Roma have and the challenges local and national authorities face in the implementation of their National Roma Integration Strategies and other relevant policies. The President of the Permanent Study Group Mr. Akos Topolansky also expressed its concerns on the current situation or Roma and the way Member states implement their National strategies. Mr. Topolansky asked ERIO to contribute to the future work of the Study Group and continue closely to cooperate with the EESC.

OTHER news

* Cardin Welcomes Commemoration of the End of Slavery in Romania
By Ben Cardin

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement regarding the 160th anniversary of the emancipation of Roma slaves in Romanian. ‎
“On February 20, the Romanian Government will unveil a plaque at the Monastery of Tismana commemorating the end of slavery 160 years ago. Unlike in the United States, slaves in Romania were not kidnapped and transported across an ocean. Instead, those enslaved were Roma, a people that had settled in Romania by the 14th century. The enslavement of Roma in Romania has been unacknowledged for too long. I commend the Government of Romania for taking this important step on a long journey.”
 
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* Bulgarian Roma Girls Still Quitting School Young
By Maria Cheresheva

Early marriages remain a key factor causing Roma schoolgirls to drop out, but economic problems, migration and a lack of good schools also play a major role, a new UNICEF study says. School attendance among Roma girls in Bulgaria has improved slightly while the number of early marriages and teenage mothers giving birth has dropped, a new study from the UN children’s organisation UNICEF says. The number of Roma girls who married before the age of 18 shrank by 30 per cent between 2001 and 2011, the year of the last national census, according to the study. Forty-five per cent of them finished primary education compared to 42 per cent ten years previously, showing that early marriage remains a primary factor in the school drop-out rate among Roma girls, but not the only one.
 
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* Romania: Lawmakers Suspected in EU Roma Fund Fraud
By OCCRP

19/02/2016 - Two lawmakers that anti-corruption prosecutors sought to arrest on Feb. 10 are still free after Parliament failed to approve the request, according to local media.
Parliamentarians Madalin Voicu and Nicolae Paun are under investigation along with 10 other suspects for an array of financial offenses relating to the alleged misuse of European Union (EU) funds intended to help the minority Roma population. Balkan Insight reports that both Voicu and Paun deny any wrongdoing.
According to the EuroActiv news portal, Parliament rejected prosecutors’ request for Voicu's arrest. Voicu took to the floor of Parliament and proclaimed his innocence, saying an arrest would humiliate him. A day later, prosecutors placed Voicu under prohibitory measures and set his bail at 500,000 Romanian Lei (nearly US$ 125,000).

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* Slovakia: Romani soldier survives Afghanistan only to die after police intervention back home
By Markus Pape, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

The Slovak courts are continuing to review the case of a 44-year-old professional soldier, Ivan Koliščák, who died in April 2013 after police intervened against him in a restaurant in the town of Trebišov. He died on the spot; emergency medical technicians called to the scene did not manage to revive him.
A waitress called police after a conflict arose in the restaurant during which Koliščák allegedly behaved aggressively. The following day police leadership publicly stated that their officers were not responsible for the soldier's death.
"The man who had committed rioting was kneeling before the bar with his hands above his head when the patrol arrived. He was instructed by the patrol to pay for the damage he had caused and to leave the premises, but he then physically assaulted a member of the patrol. After instructing him to stop, officers handcuffed him and he subsequently calmed down," Slovak Interior Ministry spokesperson Lucia Garajová told the public immediately after the incident.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

Join the The European Roma Media Network!

The European Roma Media Network was an outcome of ERIO’s conference “Media: a key tool to fight hate speech and anti-Gypsyism” organised on 23 June 2015 in Brussels. The ultimate goal of this informal Network is to join efforts to invert the role of the media as a tool to fight anti-Roma sentiments and anti-Gypsyism. The media has a crucial role in combating racism and stereotypes about the Roma. This can be achieved with an ethical and critical journalism which aims to raise awareness and provide a greater understanding regarding Roma issues.
 
The role of the Network is to provide an online platform for different stakeholders to exchange information and ideas about good practices and to discuss possible challenges and opportunities in tackling negative stereotypes and hate speech in the media. A parallel objective of the Network is to monitor and react to hate speech and negative portrayal of Roma in the media and address the responsible authorities.Who can join? Members of the Network should be journalists (Roma and non-Roma), media experts or NGOs working on media.

Want to apply for membership?
To apply for membership please fill in this registration form and send it to office@erionet.eu
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