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ERIO news and activities

* The EU 2020 Strategy and the Roma

What is the EU 2020 Strategy?
The EU 2020 Strategy is a ten-year EU plan replacing the Lisbon Strategy. Its main objectives are to boost the European economy and to improve the quality of life by raising employment, productivity and social cohesion. This new plan covers five areas: education, social cohesion, employment, innovation and climate/energy. Specific targets set for these areas are expected to be achieved by the EU by 2020:

Employment: increase the employment rate of those aged 20-64 to 75%;
Innovation: invest 3% of the EU GDP in research and development;
Energy: reduce GHG emissions by 20%; increase 20% of energy renewable resources/ energy efficiency;
Education: reduce early school leavers to below 10%, tertiary education attained by 40% of 30-34 olds;
Social inclusion: lift over 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion. 
The Strategy aims for a smart, green and inclusive growth. Smart growth refers to education, innovation and digital society; green growth should make the EU production resource efficient and boost the competitiveness; inclusive growth should raise the employment rate and acquisition of skills as well as reduce poverty.
How can the EU Strategy 2020 affect the Roma?
The Roma constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe (10-12 million). They suffer massive discrimination especially in areas of employment, housing, health and education and are at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion than most Europeans. Roma inclusion is thus in line with the inclusive growth priorities set by the EU Strategy 2020:

  • Reduction of poverty target should directly and positively affect the Roma, especially the actions planned by the European platform against poverty and social inclusion which aim at improving access to the labour market, social protection, basic services and education.
  • Attention placed by the EU Strategy 2020 on education should improve the Roma situation and start a process of desegregation that would consent an equal access to quality education for Roma.
  • The unemployment rate among the Roma substantially exceeds the average of non-Roma. Attention placed by the EU Strategy 2020 on the employment issue should improve Roma situation by ensuring better inclusion of the Roma population in society.

OTHER news

* Alliance Taskforce took part in largest Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative
by Roma Alliance

Auschwitz, 2 August 2013 – The world’s largest Roma Genocide Remembrance Event “Dik I na Bistar / look and don’t forget” took place on 2th August at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. More than 400 youths from over 20 countries participated at the youth commemoration at the site of the former so-called “Gypsy camp”. The great number of participants underlined the growing importance of Roma youth movements fighting against prejudices and stereotypes and striving for official recognition of the 2nd August as an international day of remembrance for the victims of Parrajimos (Roma genocide).

Read more here
*Hungarian Roma affected by water supply cuts
by BBC

Budapest, 5 August 2013 - Several thousand Roma (Gypsies) have had their water supplies cut off or reduced in a dispute with the council in the northern Hungarian town of Ozd. Ozd's council did not directly accuse local Roma, but said residents were wasting water and it could no longer afford to operate pumps and wells. Many Roma in eastern Europe depend on roadside pumps, as they are too poor to pay for running water in their homes.
Last Friday, the local water authority in Ozd implemented a decision taken by the town council in June to turn off 28 pumps completely, and reduce the pressure in a further 60, says the BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest.

Read more here
* Congress President calls on Europe’s local and regional authorities to commit to Roma integration
by the Council of Europe

“We are reminded, on 2 August, the day of remembrance for the hundreds of thousands of Roma massacred by the Nazis during the Second World War, of the need to build a Europe of peace and tolerance, involving all levels of governance”, in the words of Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Read more here


* Academic Conference: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma - 07 September 2013
The speakers will discuss the genesis of the Nazi "Final Solution of the Gypsy Question" in various parts of Europe and the subsequent Roma struggle for compensation and recognition of their suffering.

Read more here
* Short Animated History on Roma Gypsy and Travelers
The Early Childhood Programme at the Open Society Foundations in partnership with Damn Fine Media is pleased to announce that, in response to many requests, we have produced a number of versions of the short animated history in differing languages – Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian and Romanian.

The original English version is here
* Call: International Conference on Roma Housing, 20 September
The Romano Kher - Roma House Project, in collaboration with the Council of Europe’s Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, would like to invite you to the International Conference on Roma Housing in Europe, that will take place in Murska Sobota, Slovenia, on 20th September 2013.

When and how to apply?
The Council of Europe is pleased to cover the travel and accommodation expenses of selected participants.
Applications for this support must be submitted using the official application form, available for downloading through our website as of 21st August 2013.
Applications should be accompanied by a description of the project/initiative (characteristics, objectives, resources, partners, results).
Applications can be sent to: alliance@coe.int until 21st August 2013
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