ERIO at the Roma Platform preparatory meeting

by ERIO on May 6th, 2013

On 3 May, ERIO attended a preparatory meeting for the next European Platform for Roma Inclusion at the end of June. The meeting was held in the premises of DG-Justice of the European Commission in Brussels. Over 30 participants were present including representatives of civil society, international networks and organisations active in Roma inclusion in Europe and officials from various DGs of the European Commission.
 
The goal of this meeting was to discuss and exchange ideas about the content and organisation of the next Platform meeting titled “It is urgent to make change for Roma children and youth”. This year’s meeting puts Roma children and youth as a top priority since they are the most vulnerable age group in all Roma communities. As they are a horizontal, omnipresent dimension in the four key areas that the National Roma Integration Strategies focus on – i.e. housing, education, employment and health – they will also be at the centre of the agenda for the upcoming Platform meeting.
 
Although ERIO welcomed the topic of children and youth, we stressed that the Platform meeting should acknowledge and address the widespread anti-Roma discrimination and anti-Gypsyism that pervades today’s society, as they are the root of many problems the Roma have to deal with, such as inequality and poverty. This kind of discrimination takes place in all spheres, sectors and classes of society, in the labour market, in private housing, in access to health and education and it is effectively hindering Roma inclusion and integration. ERIO made clear that as long as we do not acknowledge and address this discrimination, we will be merely treating the symptoms and not the cause of Roma exclusion.
 
The Roma Platform meeting is estimated to take place on 27 June in Brussels. 


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