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ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 03-04-2014

OTHER news

* Commission to give verdict on national Roma strategies
‘European Roma Summit' to assess policies and funding for social inclusion.

31/03/2014 - The European Commission is seeking to re-focus political attention in the European Union on the situation faced by Roma in many member states. Some 500 delegates from national and local governments, EU institutions, international organisations and Roma groups are expected to attend a conference in Brussels on Friday (4 April) at which the Commission will launch a report on progress made on the social inclusion of Roma since 2011.

The Commission adopted a framework for national Roma integration strategies in 2011 and in its 2013 report called on member states to implement their national strategies. Last year, the Commission made country-specific recommendations for the five member states with the most sizeable Roma populations – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. This year's report will assess to what extent national authorities have followed these recommendations.

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* EU Roma Summit: How the EU leads on integration
Brussels, 01/04/2014 - Politicians from EU Member States will be meeting with representatives of civil society on 4 April in Brussels. The topic of their discussion will be developments in the area of Romani integration throughout Europe. This will be be first EU summit on the topic of Romani people following the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies of 2011. The aim of the meeting is to acquire an overview of how domestic strategies intended for Romani people are being implemented, strategies the Member States annually submit with the EU Framework.
The main speakers at the summit will include European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Romanian President Traian Băsescu, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Mininster Zinaida Zlatanova and ministers and state secretaries from nine other EU Member States. Other speakers will include George Soros, chair of the Open Society Foundations organization, and Zoni Weisz, a Romani survivor of the Holocaust.

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* Toward a Roma Cosmopolitanism
By John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies

24/03/2014 - Last August 8, the great Romanian sociologist Nicolae Gheorghe passed away. He was only 66. I first met him in 1990, when he was just embarking on his project of elevating Roma issues to the highest level of European politics. Because he spoke English and had an academic background, he was often the lone Roma representative in European human rights meetings or on TV panel discussions. He worked on Roma issues at the Council of Europe, at the EU, at the UN, and for many years at the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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* Slovakia: Three suspects in beheading case of Romani man now on trial
By news server TN.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

01/04/2014 - Žihárec, Slovakia - Daniel Horváth was 37 years old and the father of a five-year-old girl when his murderers first beat him up and then chopped off his head while he was still alive. The case of his brutal murder is now before a court in Slovakia. The tragedy occurred two days before Christmas in 2012. The murder was committed in the village of Žihárec, not far from the town of Šala. 

News server TN.cz reports that two youths and the father of one of them are behind the shocking crime. Mr Horváth's girlfriend had her first opportunity to come face-to-face with his brutal murderers during the trial. According to the indictment, the perpetrators beheaded her boyfriend while he was still alive. The Romani man was first brutally beaten up by them in a pub in Žihárec. 

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* A Roma Reality Check for the UK
By Violeta Naydenova & Israel Butler   Open Society European Policy Institute

26/03/2014 - Recent months have seen politicians and the media in the UK predicting an influx of Roma migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. Roma have been portrayed as a threat to British society in the form of welfare tourists and beggars. The reality is rather different. The UK is not among the preferred destinations of Roma from other EU countries, and the small number of Roma who have arrived in the UK have much to offer.

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* Albanian Government Neglects Economic Integration Of Roma Community – Analysis
By Peter Tase

25/03/2014 - Hundreds of Roma families in Albania will not be eligible to have a decent home or benefit from social services and other initiatives provided by the government because they are unable to complete all the paperwork required or follow up on their individual needs with the Albanian Ministry of Social Services, Welfare and Labor. Meanwhile, discrimination against Roma communities across Albania persists. Roma continue to live marginalized by the general population in precarious shelters made out of cardboard, broken shingles, wood panels, and twisted and rusty sheet metal.

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* To Achieve Roma Equality, Europe Must Address Health Disparities
By by Maja Saitovic   Public Health Program

27/03/2014 - ... For years the European Commission has recognized that inequality in health is a pressing issue. But it has made little progress for vulnerable populations like the Roma. We have a chance to change this.

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* Sweden admits endemic discrimination of Roma
By TT/The Local/at

The Swedish government on Tuesday will publish its white paper on the historic treatment of Roma, detailing systemic abuse and police opinion that it would be best to kill them off.

"This is an unknown and dark part of Swedish history, maybe even darker than what I thought when we started the work with the white book," Swedish Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag wrote in the op-ed pages of the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper. 

The white book is based on interviews with Roma and other traveling groups, plus archive material and independent research. 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* Internship opportunity for young Roma at the Roma Education Fund (REF)

Internship positions are an important component of REF activities as it allows young educated Roma to get acquainted with the organization and issues related to education of the Roma people in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe. It also helps the REF to establish a network of young and dynamic people that following their internship program at REF will support in various ways the objectives and mission of the Fund and Roma inclusion in conventional educational systems.

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* National Democratic Institute Seeks Resident Program Manager in Hungary

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI or the Institute) seeks a full-time Resident Program Manager to develop and implement a regional program aimed at promoting civic and political engagement of Roma citizens through targeted in-country assistance and cross-border learning and exchanges among participants from Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The initiative would focus on equipping Roma activists with the capacities to conducted targeted issue-based advocacy in the areas such as education, employment, housing or healthcare, leading to better policies governing discrimination and violence against Roma citizens. The position is based in Budapest, Hungary, and requires regular travel within Hungary and in the region.

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