Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO Recommendations to the Italian Presidency
Between July-December 2014, Italy takes over the EU Presidency. The Presidency takes place at a crucial moment for the European Union. The EU finds itself in a recovery phase from the economic crisis and the European Parliament and Commission start their new term creating opportunities for a return to the EU founding values of unity, inclusion, human rights and respect. Italy should use this turning point to make social justice and Roma inclusion a priority for their Presidency and ensure that the new European Commission and Parliament keep these issues on the EU policy and political agenda. Investing in Roma inclusion will benefit society as a whole in the long term as it will reduce poverty; contribute to social cohesion and economic growth.

Click here to read our recommendations to the Presidency aiming to improve the Roma situation across Europe:

OTHER news

* Belgian town hires DJ, blares music to drive away Roma camp
By Reuters

16 July 2014 - A group of Roma camped by a Belgian town faced a rude awakening on Wednesday: the mayor ordered that they be blasted with music to drive them away. The Roma had arrived on Sunday in Landen, some 50 kilometres east of the Belgian capital of Brussels. They agreed with a landowner to park 14 caravans there until Tuesday, according to Landen Mayor Gino Debroux.

“Since then, they’ve said they won’t leave and they’re there with 30 caravans,” Debroux told Reuters by telephone. “This is an industrial site and is not designed for camping.” Debroux said the group’s refusal to leave had led him to hire a DJ to play music from Wednesday morning, starting around 9 a.m.
“This is a way of putting pressure on them. It was very difficult to negotiate with the gypsy king, as he called himself,” Debroux said. “It’s a non-violent method to ask them to come to an agreement.”

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* SDKÚ’s “small Roma reform” fails in parliament again - The Slovak Spectator
By TASR, Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská

The opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) proposes a set of measures, so-called “small Roma reform”, which its initiators claimed would result in better law enforcement for all and a situation in which it pays to work. Tabled for a fourth time, it failed again to gain passage in parliament on July 9.
“We want to improve the living conditions of people with socially disadvantaged background,” SDKÚ Chairman Pavol Frešo said last week, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We also have the support of Government Proxy for the Roma Communities Peter Pollák (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities-OĽaNO) and we consider this to be a programme priority of the party. It’s also our contribution to combating extremism. If standard political parties don’t offer standard solutions, they will be put forward by extremists in metal boots.”

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* Gypsy Travellers' education praised at Westminster
By Anna Wilson

10/07/2014 - The growing trend for Gypsy Travellers in Pembrokeshire to continue their education after the age of 16 has been praised at Westminster. Bev Stephens, Head of the Pembrokeshire Gypsy Traveller Education Service spoke to a committee in the Houses of Parliament in June.

She gave evidence to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) Committee for Environment and Social Affairs and contributed to an inquiry into Travellers and the Roma population. After a short presentation, the committee questioned Bev about education in the County.

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* Russian Roma face image problem
By BBC News

As part of a series on Roma Gypsies in Europe, Yuri Maloveriyan of BBC Russian examines how their reputation has changed in modern-day Russia.
Russians have traditionally tended to think of Roma (Gypsies) in two ways: as horse-dealers and rustlers, or as rolling stones, wandering around the world in colourful costumes and singing romantic songs.
But in the new Russia this old image has been replaced by a different one - one generated by media reports from villages where Roma drug dealers sell heroin.
And although pro-Roma organisations try to argue that this picture does not apply to all Roma, their voice is drowned out by the media.
"All of a sudden, their houses started to burn because of some electrical problems, and entire clans would leave," remembers Yevgenii Malenkin from Russian non-governmental organisation City Without Drugs, pointing to a burned house not far from Yekaterinburg, in central Russia.

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* Vulnerable groups require better protection in Romania
By Actmedia

“Romania must show a much stronger commitment to effectively protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities, children and Roma”, said Tuesday Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on his visit to Romania from 31 March to 4 April 2014.

“Many persons with disabilities, including children, are isolated from society in a growing number of institutions, where they often face inhumane and degrading treatment and, in some cases, deliberate abuse. Deinstitutionalisation should be a priority, along with effective investigations into all allegations of ill-treatment. In this context, the setting up of an efficient national mechanism for the prevention of torture would be an essential measure.”

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* Germany: Antigypsyism spreading, parties' populism directly supporting it
By brf, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Berlin - Anti-Romani prejudice has been rising in German society in recent years. Negative depictions of Romani people are being ever more frequently exploited by political parties to win votes and, unlike in previous years, such statements are no longer the domain of the ultra-right only.
Christine Lüders, Germany's Federal Anti-Discrimination Officer, warned of the trend on 10 July. "For quite some time now antigypsyism has not been a problem of the extreme right only, but a problem of society as a whole," she said.

Lüders believes politicians from almost all political parties have been latching on to the topic, as shown by last year's parliamentary elections and this year's EP vote. During those elections, voices in favor of restricting immigration were often justified by claims that most immigrants just want to abuse the German social welfare system.

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* A Flood Lays Bare Inequality in Bulgaria
By Violeta Naydenova

Asparuhovo district in Varna, Bulgaria, was the hardest hit area during the June 2014 floods. The tragedy is enormous; entire streets and houses have vanished. A total of 14 people were killed, including 4 children. I visited the area weeks after the disaster and the scenes remain apocalyptic.

Nikolay Nokolov, a survivor of the floods, shared with me his uncertainty about the future: "Half of the roof of my house has fallen apart. The walls of the house are cracked. I received only an order to leave. The municipality offered me social housing but I refused because I have two children and living conditions are very poor."

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* Music Masterclass and Concert Music4Rom in Paris - 25 October 2014
Music Masterclass earmarked at 16 young Romani and non-Romani musicians trained by renowned musicians and singers organized by Sons Croisés and coordinated by Jorge Chaminé, within the framework of Music4ROM : a European project promoting intercultural dialogue through music.

Masterclass and final concert at “A la Cité Universitaire Internationale de Paris (CIUP)” – Collège d’Espagne  –Salle Bunuel  
7 Boulevard Jourdan – 75014 Paris / RER B et T3a Cité Universitaire
Open to the general public subject to availability
MASTER CLASSES – from Monday 20 to Friday 24 October, 10am to 1pm and 3-6pm
CONCERT - Saturday 25 October, 7.30pm

Carlo DUMONT (Italy), Aurica MUSTATEA (Romania), David BENKO (Slovaquia), Paco SUAREZ (Spain),
Roberto DE BRASOV (France), Ludovit KOVAC (France), Jorge CHAMINE (France).
From Italy
Pietro GIORDANO, violin
Rocco ROGGIA, violin
Gennaro SPINELLI, violin
Matteo BISBANO MEMMO, piano
From Slovaquia
Nikola SOLTESOVA, singer
Anita BALAZOVA, singer
Jakub KRAJNAK, guitar
Jakub HAFFNER, piano
From Romania
Rodica-­Elena TUDOR, singer
Daniel-­Mihai RADU, trombon
Mihaela‐Roxana SAVA, singer
From Spain
Oscar José SORIANO LLOPART, guitar
Alvaro Mur RODRIGUEZ, piano
Pedro Manuel NAVARRO GRIMALDI, cajon
Elise PETIT : french, english, spanish – Roberto DE BRASOV : romanian and roman
Jorge CHAMINE : italian, english, spanish – Ludovit KOVAC : slovak
Emilie Le BOUFFO - coordinator – 0033 6 48 04 27 78 – musicforrom@yahoo.fr
Jorge CHAMINE – director
Collège d’Espagne reception – 0033 1 40 78 32 00
* Save-the-date! Strategic meeting "Fostering Cooperation and Institutional Capacity for Roma Integration in the Danube Region", Vienna, 9-10 October 2014
Venue: Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection Stubenring 1 A-1010 Vienna
This event is a joint event of Priority Area 10 "Institutional Capacity and Cooperation" of the EUSDR (City of Vienna), Priority Area 9 "People and Skills" (Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Austria) and the Austrian National Contact Point for Roma Integration (Federal Chancellery, Austria).
Participation in the event is free of charge and upon invitation only.

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