Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO meets with International Group of Journalists
On 13 November ERIOs Executive Director Ivan Ivanov  met with international group of journalists in Brussels. The Belgian Inter-federal Center for Equal Opportunities hosted the meeting with group media representatives from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Finland and Macedonia. The topic for discussion was the Roma image in the international media, stereotypes and hate speech. Mr. Ivanov stated that racist stereotypes often serve to justify ongoing discriminatory practices. In the last decade the anti-Roma speech is openly expressed in the media and what is worrying is that public institutions and law enforcement bodies are passive. Roma are not able to fight Anti-Gypsyism if friendly media does not support them.
* ERIO at the Side Event on Active Inclusion : An Integrated Approach to Roma Inclusion
ERIOs representative was one of the key note speakers at the Side Event on Roma Inclusion. The event was organized by Eurodiaconia on November 20 as part of the “4th Annual Convention of the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion”. This year the focus of the Convention was on social innovation and how new creative ideas can contribute to address social needs and to improve people's lives.
The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, addressed the opening ceremony, together with the new Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills & Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen.
Bringing together more than 700 participants, the conference highlighted the role of social innovation to create private-public partnerships, promote social entrepreneurship and make a better use of available resources to give support according to each individual needs.
The Side Event focused on Roma poverty and inclusion with the specific objective to identify challenges and solution in the process of Roma social inclusion.

OTHER news

* Slovenia: Report Shows Improvements for Roma Community

Ljubljana, 11/11/2014 - The life of the Roma community in Slovenia has improved in the past years, a 2012-2013 report has found. But while the document, adopted by the government last week, lists a number of improvements, especially in education, the Roma warn that their lives are not getting better but worse.

Read more here
* Why Kristallnacht matters to European Roma today
By Romea

We have just marked the 76th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht or Novemberpogrom). In different cities across Germany and Austria a series of pogroms were perpetrated against Jewish civilians, stores and synagogues on the night between the 9th and the 10th of November while German authorities did nothing to prevent them. Those attacks were the prelude to the criminal racial policy that led to the Holocaust, in which six million Jews and five hundred thousand Roma were murdered.
How does the remembrance of this dramatic night challenge Europe today?
Since January 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union, we have witnessed increasing political alarm about the "Gypsy threat" with respect to Roma immigrants migrating from these two countries into Western Europe. A huge police force has now been deployed by France and Italy to control these Roma immigrants. The anti-Gypsy measures include special surveillance systems and ultimately, forced evictions.

Read more here
* Judgment in Hungary: An Attack on Roma, and a Search for Justice
By Open Society Foundations

In 2008 and 2009, Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of attacks on members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five-year-old, and another five were injured. The trial of the four suspects lasted two and a half years; the verdict was passed in August 2013. Director Eszter Hajdú filmed the trial, which eventually became the documentary Judgment in Hungary.

Read more here
* Investing in Roma-Led Change
By Open Society Foundations

It will take decades until the Romani community in Europe feels the effects of our everyday work. To change the status quo sooner rather than later, we Roma need to stubbornly maintain pressure on political decision makers over the long term.
As discussed in the video [above], the voice of Roma communities will become less dependent on external supporters only when organizations led by Roma become strong enough to make the case on behalf of their constituencies, to have their own voice heard and their own power felt by governments, the EU, and others.

Read more here
* But, how far are we going to let things go?
By Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia, President of the Roma Union

It has been suggested in Italy that gypsies should not be able to travel in the same buses as non-gypsies (“gadché”).

A few years ago it was Berlusconi. This infamous leader – recognised by Italian courts as a criminal addicted to prostitution, who organised orgies in his house with underage girls, and authorised the repressive policies of his interior minister, a member of the racist Liga Norte party with whom he ruled the country in coalition and who sent back poor gypsy families who were fleeing from civil war in the Balkans (where there were territorial disputes between non gypsies). Later on, in order to have more control over gypsies, this evil minister decided that the finger prints of young gypsy children should be taken and stored in a police archive. This only happened four or five years ago.

However, just as we thought the imagination of racists had reached its height, we found that the mayor of Borgaro (a town near Turín) had proposed that separate buses should be instated to avoid gypsies and non-gypsies travelling in the same vehicle. In this way, it surpasses the apartheid regime in the US as in the 1950s and 1960s whites and blacks could at least travel in the same buses, although whites sat at the front and blacks at the back.

Read more here


* European Roma Information Office (ERIO) high level Conference with Local authorities, November 27 in Brussels

The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) invites you to attend a conference with European local authorities which will be held on 27th November at the European Economic and Social Committee, room TRE 7701 (7th floor), 74 Rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels from 09:30-17:00.
Roma in Europe continue to face constant discrimination. Segregation in education, poor housing, violence and forced evictions are some of the types of discrimination they face in their daily lives. As a way to improve the integration of the 10-12 million Roma across Europe, in 2011 the European Commission adopted an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. Following this Framework, member states committed themselves to ensure equality and improving the socio-economic situation of Roma by delivering their National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). In December 2013, the Council recommendation on effective Roma integration measures was adopted. This contains a number of provisions which emphasise the necessity of Roma integration at the local level. It is clear that the challenge now falls upon national governments to involve local authorities in the implementation of the NRIS.
Against this backdrop, this European level conference will gather together representatives of local authorities from across Europe. It aims to provide a platform for discussion and exchange of information between the different local authorities in Europe concerning the NRIS and the implementation of the Racial Equality Directive (RED). Secondly, to facilitate the exchange of successful practices and identify the challenges faced by local/regional authorities in the NRIS and RED implementation and any potential solutions to overcome them.

The conference will be in English.

You can register by email or phone by giving your name, surname, title and the organisation you are working for.
The deadline for registrations is 24th November 2014.
For registration or any other queries, please contact: office@erionet.eu or Tel: +32 (2) 733 34 62
* ERIO at the Interactive discussion between European Commission and European level civil society networks

On 25 November, the European Commission DG Justice invites European level NGO networks for discussion. The goal of this working meeting is to capitalize on collective intelligence, via fruitful dialogue and collective brainstorming on the substance and format of the next European Platform For Roma Inclusion which will take place in February 2015. One of the objectives is to ensure that the Platform is more efficient and more responsive to the needs and challenges on Roma inclusion, in the current political context
* OHCHR: Forum on Minority Issues: Violence and atrocity crimes against minorities, how to prevent and address them? 25-26 November in Geneva

GENEVA (21 November 2014) – Over 500 participants, including international specialists on minority issues and representatives from States and minority communities from all regions, will gather in Geneva from 25-26 November 2014 to discuss existing measures and seek new initiatives to prevent and respond to violence and atrocity crimes targeted against minorities worldwide.

The Forum will focus on some of the key issues of global concern facing minorities: understanding the root causes of violence and atrocity crimes against minorities; improving the prevention of violence and atrocities; measures for resolution, protection and security after the violence has broken out; and key actors and activities to promote reconciliation, peacebuilding and managing of diversity in post-violence situations.

The Forum provides a unique and inclusive venue for dialogue and for the elaboration of practical recommendations from all participants: UN Member States from all regions, minority communities, experts from UN bodies and specialized agencies, international organizations, academics and other experts.

The annual Forum is guided and prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and the Chair of the seventh session is Patrick Thornberry, former member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and an international expert on issues of minorities.
A set of recommendations stemming from the session on preventing and addressing violence and atrocity crimes targeted against minorities will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2015.  

Simultaneous translation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be provided. Meeting times will be 10:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. and 15:00 to 18:00 p.m. Side events will take place from 13:00 to 15:00 p.m. on both days and full details will be provided in advance and on the website of the Forum.
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