Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 04-09-2015

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO’s 4th Workshop “Fighting hate speech against Roma: the Role of Equality Bodies”
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO), in close cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) organises to attend a workshop with Equality Bodies and Roma representatives which will take place on 16 October 2015 at the Rue de Ligne 37, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Within the framework of the Race Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED) and national equality laws (legal provisions regulating media), the workshop will focus on how Equality Bodies can fight hate speech against Roma. By organising this workshop, we aim to:
- Foster discussion between different Equality Bodies, civil society and experts on effective practices and challenges to tackle hate speech against Roma
- Provide a platform for Equality Bodies to exchange good practices on hate speech (e.g. prevention, public awareness, litigation)
- Promote cooperation between Equality Bodies and civil society to jointly address hate speech against Roma

OTHER news

* Commission visits Romania
By European Commission

The Commission will have a bilateral dialogue with Romanian authorities in Bucharest on 3 and 4 September. This dialogue will be preceded by a two-day facts finding mission within Calarasi County, where the Commission delegation will visit challenging and successful Roma integration initiatives. Commission representatives will also attend a mutual learning and twinning meeting between local and regional authorities from 10 EU Member States, including Romania.

Since 2012, the Commission has had bilateral dialogues with several Member States' national authorities involved in implementing national Roma integration strategies. The aim of these bilateral dialogues is to exchange on progress and reflect upon the areas where further efforts could be made in order to trigger a decisive impact on the situation of Roma. Such bilateral dialogues should ensure that National Strategies and action plans are coherent with EU laws and policies and with the specific national situation.
The meetings deal with crucial matters such as the mainstreaming of policies, ensuring effective use of national and European funds, and promoting and monitoring concrete implementation of the strategies.

Read more here
* The Roma and European Union Citizenship: In Search of a Humane Answer from the EU
By Nuno Ferreira and Dora Kostakopoulou (eds.), The Human Face of the European Union: Are EU Law and Policy Humane Enough?, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming)

Abstract: How does European integration affect the Roma communities? What does EU citizenship mean for the Roma and how has their mobility been viewed by the European Union Member States? In this chapter, we focus on the issues affecting the lives of Roma EU citizens wishing to migrate within the EU, such as the existence of transitional periods, the overall securitisation trend in domestic migration policies, the restrictive and deficient transposition of the Citizenship Directive, and Roma cultural specificities in the context of EU free movement. Although there has been a renewed commitment since 2010 on the part of the European institutions to address the problems facing the Roma, a more coordinated and multi-stakeholder approach is needed in order to ensure the effective exercise of free movement and other rights associated with EU citizenship status.
 
Read more here
* Separate and unequal in Hungary: “catching up” and falling behind on Roma inclusion
By Bernard Rörke

Immediately prior to the launch of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005, the ERRC reported to the European Commission that the “recent legal and policy amendments aiming to combat racial segregation in schooling in Hungary” were “among the most far-reaching and innovative policies on Roma anywhere in Europe.”

Ten years later towards the end of the Decade, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HLCU) declared that Roma continue to suffer from racist violence and face anti-Gypsyism in every aspect of life including discrimination by authorities and institutions. As for education, the verdict was damning: “Hungary’s system of education is one of the most segregated, unable to close the achievement gap due to wide differences in student’s family, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.”

So what happened in the interim? What went so profoundly wrong to dash the promise of progress, equity and inclusion in education? How did a national commitment to school desegregation come to be displaced by a cynical policy of ‘separate but equal’ style segregation, re-packaged as ‘social catching up’?

Read more here
* France: Fatal shooting at Romani camp, six-month-old among the dead
By redakce, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

 A shooting in northern France today at a Romani camp in Roy resulted in four dead and three seriously injured. The dead include an infant and a woman.
Those seriously injured are one child, one police officer and the shooter himself. The motivation for the shooting is not yet clear.
The French regional daily Courrier Picard reports that the initial investigation said the incident was one of score-settling in a zone occupied by persons without permanent residency. However, other sources say the shooting did not begin until after police entered the camp.
According to Conflict News, the French Interior Minister has announced the attack was racially motivated. Three of those who died are from the local community, including a six-month old, and the fourth fatality was one of the police officers.

Read more here
* Tension erupts in Bulgaria’s Varna over demolition of Roma people’s illegal homes
By Focus Information Agency

Tension erupted during the demolition of the illegal homes constructed by citizens of Roma origin in the Maksuda residential quarter in the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna, Radio FOCUS reported.

The local residents started throwing stones at the police and the gendarmerie, while a group of Roma people tried to attack two police officers.
There was an attempt to set one of the houses due to be demolished on fire but the flames were quickly extinguished.

The situation was normalised but there are still local residents, who refuse to take away their property from the illegal homes. More police forces arrive at the scene.
 
Read more here
* State of the Union 2015: Time for Honesty, Unity and Solidarity
Speech by Jean-Claude Juncker - President of the European Commission

The Refugee Crisis: The Imperative to Act as a Union
Whatever work programmes or legislative agendas say: The first priority today is and must be addressing the refugee crisis.
Since the beginning of the year, nearly 500,000 people have made their way to Europe. The vast majority of them are fleeing from war in Syria, the terror of the Islamic State in Libya or dictatorship in Eritrea. The most affected Member States are Greece, with over 213,000 refugees, Hungary, with over 145,000, and Italy, with over 115,000.
The numbers are impressive. For some they are frightening.
But now is not the time to take fright. It is time for bold, determined and concerted action by the European Union, by its institutions and by all its Member States.
This is first of all a matter of humanity and of human dignity. And for Europe it is also a matter of historical fairness.

We Europeans should remember well that Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee. Our common history is marked by millions of Europeans fleeing from religious or political persecution, from war, dictatorship, or oppression.
Huguenots fleeing from France in the 17th century.
Jews, Sinti, Roma and many others fleeing from Germany during the Nazi horror of the 1930s and 1940s.
Spanish republicans fleeing to refugee camps in southern France at the end of the 1930s after their defeat in the Civil War.
Hungarian revolutionaries fleeing to Austria after their uprising against communist rule was oppressed by Soviet tanks in 1956.
Czech and Slovak citizens seeking exile in other European countries after the oppression of the Prague Spring in 1968.
Hundreds and thousands were forced to flee from their homes after the Yugoslav wars.
Have we forgotten that there is a reason there are more McDonalds living in the U.S. than there are in Scotland? That there is a reason the number of O'Neills and Murphys in the U.S. exceeds by far those living in Ireland?
Have we forgotten that 20 million people of Polish ancestry live outside Poland, as a result of political and economic emigration after the many border shifts, forced expulsions and resettlements during Poland’s often painful history?
Have we really forgotten that after the devastation of the Second World War, 60 million people were refugees in Europe? That as a result of this terrible European experience, a global protection regime – the 1951 Geneva Convention on the status of refugees – was established to grant refuge to those who jumped the walls in Europe to escape from war and totalitarian oppression?

Read more here
* High electric meters discriminate against Roma
By Beatrice Credi

The European Court of Justice has issued a harsh warning to the national electric company in Bulgaria for the installation of electricity meters at an inaccessible height in an area densely populated by Roma. This constitutes ethnic discrimination, it says, especially considering that the same meters in other areas of the city are placed at eye level. The complainant, Mrs. Nikolova, runs a grocery store in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, in a neighbourhood where mainly populated by people of Roma origin. The electricity company installed the metres on concrete poles 6 or 7 metres high. In the rest of the city, however, they are placed at a height of 1.70 meters or, in most cases, directly in homes. According to the company, the different treatment is justified because there are more cases of tampering and numerous illegal connections. Nevertheless, even assuming, say the judges, that there is illegal tampering, this practice is disproportionate to the objectives of ensuring the safety and adequate supply of power.
 
Read more here

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

ERIO’s 4th Workshop “Fighting hate speech against Roma: the Role of Equality Bodies” - INVITATION
Brussels, 16 October 2015

The European Roma Information Office (ERIO), in close cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) invites you to attend a workshop with Equality Bodies and Roma representatives which will take place on 16 October 2015 at the Rue de Ligne 37, 1000 Brussels,
Belgium.

Within the framework of the Race Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED) and national equality laws (legal provisions regulating media), the workshop will focus on how Equality Bodies can fight hate speech against Roma. By organising this workshop, we aim to:
- Foster discussion between different Equality Bodies, civil society and experts on effective practices and challenges to tackle hate speech against Roma
- Provide a platform for Equality Bodies to exchange good practices on hate speech (e.g. prevention, public awareness, litigation)
- Promote cooperation between Equality Bodies and civil society to jointly address hate speech against Roma

The workshop will be in English.

Registration
Places are limited. Please confirm participation as soon as possible, latest by 25 September 2015.
Register by email/phone by sending your name, surname and the organisation you represent to:
office@erionet.eu
Tel: +32 (2) 733 3462
Contact us
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube
LinkedIn