Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 13-06-2014

ERIO news and activities

*  ECRI latest report on Romania: Roma rights still in danger
By Gianluca Cesaro, ERIO
 
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) released its fourth report on Romania on the 3rd June. ECRI is an independent organ of the Council of Europe and assesses main trends in racism and discrimination issues in the Council’s member states. The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is pleased to present ECRI’s findings related to the Roma population, which was treated in a dedicated section.

Read our summary here.
* Far-right, neo-Nazi and Eurosceptic parties elected for the European Parliament
By ERIO on June 11th, 2014
 
The results of this year's European elections demonstrate an alarming increase in far-right, neo-Nazi and Eurosceptic parties.  We have prepared the table below where you can check the far-right, neo-Nazi and Eurosceptic parties elected for the European Parliament.

EP elections 2014: Summary results table
ERIO's statement on the results of the 2014 European elections

OTHER news

* Czech Senate rejects EU efforts to improve Romani integration
By ČTK, fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Prague, 3.12.2013 - The Czech Senate is evidently planning to object to the European Commission instructing the Member States on specific measures for the social inclusion of Romani people. The upper chamber's EU Committee has recommended the Commission's instructions to that body. The EU Committee was responding to a report from the Commission on the application of EU rules to domestic Romani integration strategies. Senators will vote on the proposal in two weeks.

"Measures targeting inclusion of the Romani population should be adopted in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity at national level," the senators on the EU Committee previously agreed. They believe such measures should take into consideration the specific needs and situations of Romani communities in various regions in order to be effective.

In its report, the Commission tasked the Member States with arranging for "non-discriminatory access by Roma" to health care, housing and the labor market. The Commission also instructed the Member States to make sure Romani children complete their mandatory school attendance without being subjected to discrimination or segregation.

Read more here
* Albright says Roma not respected in Czech Republic and elsewhere
By ČTK, fk, Romea

June 10, Prague - Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking at a conference of the Prague branch of the American think-tank the Aspen Institute, expressed her views on the strengthening of extremist parties in Europe as confirmed by the recent elections to the European Parliament, as well as on the position of Romani people in Europe. A native of Prague, Albright said she is following with great distress the lack of respect enjoyed by Romani people in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.

"I believe we will never have a good system of public affairs management anywhere until human rights are recognized for all. Romani people must have the opportunity to integrate into society in all countries," she said.

Albright said she is greatly concerned by the growing popularity of extremist opinions among the citizens of the Czech Republic. She said she believes people must realize that such posturing only worsens the situation. Meet Gyorgy Makula, a police officer who's challenging prejudices and bridging communities.

Read here here

* German Sinti activists destroy racist election poster
By Mike Doherty

29/05/2014 - GERMAN SINTI activists in Osnabrück have destroyed a German neo Nazi party European election poster that promised “Money for Granny – not for Sinti and Roma”.
The three activists Jeffrey Inger, Dany Franz and Jimmy Dean Jers Laubinger, all musicians and tattoo artists from Osnabrück, struck after officials refused to act and remove the racist posters that appeared all over Germany during the campaigning for the recent European elections.
One of the activists, Jeffrey Inger, explains: "We are all German Sinti, and the poster had to be removed."
“Actually, the council should have removed the posters”
, says Jimmy Laubinger. "But if the council will not do anything for us, then we'll have to do this for the council.”

Read more here
* Poverty drives more East European Roma to Helsinki
By Yle

Hundreds of Eastern European Roma are expected to arrive in the Finnish capital in early June. City officials say that they are not coming to Finland for free health services, but rather to escape abject poverty in their home countries.


30/05/2014 - This year, Roma coming to Finland will, however, be eligible for better healthcare services than in the past. The Deaconess Institute, which offers social services to itinerants, expects around 700 to arrive to eke out a living collecting bottles, begging, playing music or selling magazines.
The City of Helsinki decided this past winter that undocumented underage children arriving in Finland will be eligible for more comprehensive healthcare for both acute and non-acute conditions. However, officials say that healthcare is not a motivating factor for these people to come to the country, rather increasingly difficult conditions at home are driving them to look elsewhere for the means to survive.

Read more here
* United Kingdom: Former Home Secretary Calls For Urgent Action Amidst Growing Tensions Between Roma’s And Locals in Sheffield
By Andre Walker

31/05/2014 - A former Labour Home Secretary has once again called for action to restore order in the Page Hall district of Sheffield which has been the scene of rising tensions ever since large numbers of Roma moved to the area.
The Slovakian Roma are entitled to move to Britain because of their EU citizenship but their sudden arrival in Sheffield has led to tensions and a 25 man fight last month, as previously reported on Breitbart London. The Mail reports that ironically it is immigrant families from countries like Pakistan and Yemen who are most unhappy about the new arrivals. David Blunket now believes that the police must substantially increase their presence to avoid a full scale riot.

Read more
here
* Greek court refuses repatriation to Bulgarian Romani child
By voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Athens, 04/06/2014 - A five-year-old Bulgarian Romani girl who was found last year by Greek police in a Romani settlement will continue to be raised by the Greek charity organization Smile of the Child. A court has now rejected a request from the Bulgarian authorities to return the girl to her native country.
News server ČT24.cz reports that the Greek Romani couple who had raised the girl for four years still remain in custody on charges of falsifying documents and kidnapping. "The court has decided it is in the best interests of little Maria for her to remain in our care," the director of Smile of the Child confirmed to news server ČT24.cz.

Read more here
* Pope urges better integration of Roma into society
By Ed Adamczyk
Vatican City, 05/06/2014 - Pope Francis Thursday spoke out against scorn he has seen toward the Roma people, while noting the Roma must play their part to combat discrimination. Speaking at a two-day Vatican conference named "The Church and Gypsies: Bringing the Gospel to the Peripheries." The pope urged a better integration of the Roma people, formerly known as Gypsies, into society.
"Often Gypsies find themselves at the margins of society, and often they're seen with hostility and suspicion. I remember here in Rome, I'd get on the bus, then some Gypsies would get on, and the driver would say 'Everyone watch your wallets'. This is scorn. Even if it's true, this is scorn," the Pope said.

Read more here
* Hungary: 7 Quotes That Show Jobbik is 'Far-Right'
By Gianluca Mezzofiore
06/06/2014 - Hungary's far-right Jobbik party has won a court case in the country's supreme court against a broadcaster that described it as "parliamentary far-right party".
The ruling, which stated that commercial TV channel ATV breached the law as it expressed an opinion and not a well-known fact, plays into Jobbik's newly-polished image which seeks to curb the anti-Roma and anti-Semitic rhetoric of the past. Seizing on the anti-EU and anti-establishment wave that is shaking Europe, the party came third in Hungary's parliamentary elections with 21% of the vote. It stopped short of demanding Hungary exit the EU and managed to send three representatives to the European pariament in May's elections.

Read more here
* Czech right-wing extremists march through town where Romani arson victims live
By Vít Hassan, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Budišov, 15/05/2014 - On Saturday a demonstration was held in the town of Budišov nad Budišovkou that was advertised as a "Commemorative march for Viktor Švarc". Right-wing extremists attempted to exploit the as-yet unsolved death of Mr Švarc, who was 28 years old when he died.

Locals speculate that three Romani people allegedly assaulted Mr Švarc (who is not Romani) and are responsible for his death. The march was not convened by relatives of the deceased, but by Petr Borna, a member of the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS), and by the infamous neo-Nazi Pavel Sládek Matějný, who ultimately did not attend the event.

Read more here

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* ERIO Training "Advocacy for Roma inclusion" 19-20 June 2014
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) invites you to attend a training on advocacy skills which will be held on 19 and 20 June from 10:30-17:00 at the Maison Notre Dame Du Chant d'Oiseau, Centre de Formation , Avenue des Franciscains 3a, 1150 Brussels.
 
The aims of the training are to: Capacitate Roma, especially young and women, to be involved in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) as well as in anti-discrimination and social inclusion policies at European, national and local level; Raise awareness on the use of media as a tool to fight discrimination; Inform about relevant EU developments such as the EU Framework, the NRIS and the Council recommendation in order to be exploited within advocacy activities.

You can register by email to office@erionet.eu or phone Tel: +32 2 733 3462
The deadline is 16.06.2014
Places are limited, early booking is recommended.

Read more here

* RCC Presents The Roma – from ‘extra’ to ‘ordinary’ Project
19 June 2014 - 6 July 2014 | Mon – Fri, 11.00 am – 6.00 pm | Admission free
This exhibition starts from the premise that we can only accurately understand the Roma if we make a conscious effort to stretch beyond our historically constructed prejudices about them. Roma – from ‘extra’ to ‘ordinary’ does not cover up the history of oppression that has resulted in negative and distorted images of Roma people in the media, both in the UK and in Eastern Europe. At the same time it seeks to show how Romani lives are not so different from those of everyone else, with a focus on the banal and everyday, rather than the sensational.

Read more here
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