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ERIO news and activities

* EU Elections 2014: why to vote?
By Gianluca Cesaro and Andreea Stinga, ERIO interns

21/04/2014 - ERIO asked two of its young team members to share their views. here are their reasons for goin to the polls on 22-25 May:
* Expressing our support for DEMOCRACY and RULE OF LAW in Europe, as two of the fundamental values of the EU.
* MAKING OUR VOICE HEARD to influence the future EU political landscape and defend our interest as EU citizens.
* Re-affirming our right to FREE MOVEMENT and ensuring that all EU citizens fully enjoy it, particularly the Roma.
* Supporting a better REPRESENTATION OF ALL MINORITIES, be them women, LGBT, Roma and other ethnic groups, within the Euopean parliament.
* Offering an opportunity for and building alliances with minority groups, including Roma, to put forward and better advocate for a more tolerant, diverse and INCLUSIVE EUROPE.

OTHER news

* ‘Your Vote Can Unite, You Choose’ Campaign against racism in the European Parliament

In the next days citizens all over the EU will vote for a new European Parliament. The elections for the European Parliament from 22-25 May could prove a turning point for the future of the EU. Populist, and racist parties are spreading hate, blaming migrants and minorities for whatever goes wrong, dividing societies in many of the EU member states. This campaign asks all EU citizens to use their right to vote. And we ask all to vote against racism in the European Parliament; to choose for unity, instead of division.

Already these elections have been called historical. The European Parliament elections come in the middle of a crisis that struck Europe hard. Everywhere people have lost their jobs, lost their income, and lost hope. These are circumstances some political parties and movements are trying to take advantage of. Far-right, and racist parties are combining forces and trying to win more seats. They are manipulating peoples’ fears to build support for their dividing policies. Inciting hate against minorities is a classic strategy to gain visibility and win votes, especially in times of economic crisis. Migrants are the easiest targets.

Read more here

* Ethnic profiling’ played role in Roma children raid
By Pamela Duncan

New protocols must be put in place to ensure a situation where two Roma children were wrongly taken from their biological parents is not repeated, the co-director of Pavee Point has said following a newspaper report that ethnic profiling occurred in both cases.

The Sunday Times yesterday published details of a special inquiry report by Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan, which it said found ethnic profiling played a role in the removal of the children from their parents.In October last year, a seven-year-old girl in Dublin and a two-year-old boy in Athlone were removed from their families by gardaí and placed into HSE care following suggestions they were not the parents’ biological children. DNA tests later confirmed the parentage of both children.

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* French police break up large Romani camp
By Adadolu Agency

Paris, 12/05/2014 - A Romani camp near a highway in the Parisian suburb Seine-Saint-Denis was dismantled by police, prefect Phillippe Galli said Monday.
Galli said that a large number of the residents had already left the camp a few days previously adding that some of the families were provided with accommodation. Mayor Bruno Beschizza said that the residents had left behind around 10 tonnes of waste, which is expected to cost up to 700,000 euros to clean up. There are an estimated 20,000 Romani’s in France, the majority of whom have come from Romania and Bulgaria.

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* Green candidate: Merkel's Roma policy is 'inhumane'
By Euractiv

14/05/2014 - Minority rights must be a priority in the EU and Commissioners should be better informed on issues related to Sinti and Roma. Despite anonymous death threats, Romeo Franz intends to be the first German Sinto in the European Parliament, he said in an interview with EurActiv Germany.

Romeo Franz is ranked 12th on the German Green Party's (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) candidate list for the European elections. He is a professional violinist and served as chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. He spoke with EurActiv Germany's Dario Sarmadi.

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* In Europe, sentiment against immigrants, minorities runs high
14/05/2014 - As the EU prepares for next week’s European Parliament elections, anti-immigrant and anti-minority sentiments are running high, especially on the political right. Political parties such as Britain’s UKIP, France’s National Front, and Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn have made opposition to immigration a cornerstone of their populist platforms. And as a recent Pew Research Center poll illustrates, there is clearly a base of support for anti-immigration appeals in many European countries.

Among the seven nations surveyed, Greeks and Italians express particularly negative views about immigration. Eight-in-ten or more in both countries want less immigration, as do majorities in France and the UK. Public opinion is more closely divided in Spain, Germany and Poland, between those who want fewer immigrants admitted to their countries and those who say current levels should stay about the same. However, there is very little desire for allowing more immigrants in any of these seven nations – the percentage who hold this view ranges from 14% in Germany to only 1% in Greece.

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* Czech Republic: Blockade of pig farm on Roma Holocaust site ends, activists meet with farm owners
By ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

On Saturday, 17 May, activists ended the blockade of the pig farm at Lety by Písek through which they had launched a campaign for its closure. The farm is partially located on the site of a former WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people.

"The protest set itself high aims and ultimately managed to achieve progress. On Saturday, 17 May, the first negotiations took place between the activists and the shareholders’ board of the farm.The shareholders say they are willing to financially invest in moving the farm from the site. The board received the activists as partners, respected their view of this matter during the discussion, and expressed themselves in a way that showed respect for the Roma and the entire issue. For their part, the activists did their best to explain why they had undertaken the blockade," the activists have written in a press release.
Jan Čech, vice-chair of the AGPI board, also says the negotiations proceeded correctly. "The activists, however, are too young and don't know all the requirements. This whole thing is not as simple as it seems to them. We are a joint-stock company where fundamental decisions must be voted on, everything must be thought through and then undergo an approval process," Čech told Romea.cz.

Read more here


* Assisting Communities to Access EU Funds for Inclusion
The Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma initiative of the Open Society Foundations has worked for more than five years with local communities to leverage EU funds for social inclusion projects targeting Roma, as well as other disadvantaged communities. This paper summarizes the experiences and methodologies employed by the program, bearing in mind that national authorities—particularly in new member states benefiting from Structural Funds—might be keen to replicate a similar model to advance their own social inclusion goals.

Follow the Roma Initiatives Office on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RomaInitiatives.
* International Olympics in Romany Language
The Ministry of National Education in Romania will organize the second edition of the International Olympics Romany language and literary creation, which will take place in Romania, Braşov county (4 days in the range 10-14 June 2014) with the participation of 20 to 25 Roma pupils and their companions.
The costs of accommodation and meals for students and their’s companions are supported by the Ministry of National Education from Romania.
The international/ internal transport fall into account of participants/ institutions senders.
Competitors must meet the following conditions:
1. be students of classes VII - XII (aged between 12 and 18/19), 2. to speak Romany (required), 3. writing in Latin script of Romani language.
The exam has two parts:
I.Written test will consist of an account in the Romany language, spread of a two-page half - three pages on a given topic (which may look at Roma family, the Roma community, ethnic harmony, aspirations of children and young people, life experiences, etc.) being scored both aspects of literary and grammatical correctness and the editorial.
II. Oral examination (on the same topic).
Persons interested to take part in this contest are asked to fill in the Romany language (or English), the next sheet and pass until May 20 2014 at the Ministry of National Education from Romania (DG Education in Minority Languages​​):
1. at fax: 0040-21-310.42.15 and
2. at the e-mail: sarau_2006@yahoo.com
Confirmation of selected participants will be sent no later than the day of May 22, 2014 (the fax and email participants indicated in the application form).
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