ERIO met with the Greek EU Presidency

by ERIO on February 27th, 2014

Every six months, the Council of the European Union is chaired by a turning presidency, whose role is to stimulate and frame the EU agenda. Following its continuous commitment in seeking dialogue with EU institutions, we sent by the end of 2013 our policy recommendations on Roma inclusion to the current Greek Presidency. In order to discuss these recommendations, we met one Presidency representative on the 25th February at the Greek permanent representation to the EU.

The representative lamented the lack of Commission’s proposals specifically addressed to Roma as a reason for not having a Roma agenda within the Greek Presidency’s programme. Instead, he pointed out the forthcoming implementation reports on the National Roma Integration Strategies, addressed by the national contact points to the Commission, as a way to keep on monitoring the results of the EU framework. As for Greece, the representative stated that Roma issues are already mainstreamed within national policies.

One major point that was debated concerned the anti-poverty agenda. Indeed, as one of the poorest groups across Europe, Roma are (or should be) particularly affected by this kind of policies. Even though poverty represents a horizontal issue within the Europe 2020 strategy, no specific actions currently target Roma in a peculiar way.

As for the fight against discrimination, the Greek Presidency assured they will promote the approval of the horizontal anti-discrimination Directive proposal inside the Council. This will be no easy task – said the representative - because of the opposition of some Member States.

In conclusion, the current political landscape, marked by worries and fears about the next European elections, seems to be quite disappointing. Still, it is in this very context that unremitting action by organizations like ERIO is all the more crucial to keep Roma inclusion in the European agenda.

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