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ERIO news and activities

* ERIO Recommendations to the Greek EU Presidency
Greece takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, completing the term of the trio Ireland-Lithuania-Greece. The Greek Presidency takes place at a time where the EU is facing a worrying rise in racism, xenophobia, right-wing extremist and fascist parties within a context of an economic crisis. Some important progress has been made towards Roma inclusion with the adoption of the Council Recommendation proposed by the European Commission. Although, Roma still face discrimination and their rights are systematically violated. ERIO, as an advocate for the rights of the Roma, contributed to the Presidency’s work by proposing some recommendations aiming to improve the Roma situation across Europe
Read the full recommendations here.
* ERIO-ternYpe joint press release on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

To mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January; ERIO and ternYpe commemorated all victims and survivors of the Holocaust and jointly drafted a press release "It’s urgent to stop the rising hate and discrimination against Roma". We call for an official recognition of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust as well as for an integration of the Roma and Sinti experience in the teaching of the Holocaust in the school curricula.


 Read our press release here.

* ERIO at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony and the Europe for Citizens Forum

ERIO attended two events organised by the European Commission in Brussels. On 27 January, ERIO attended the Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event, opened by Vice President Reding (watch her speech here), included testimonies of Holocaust survivors in Belgium. The Roma and Sinti experience during WWII was frequently mentioned throughout the ceremony. On 28 January ERIO participated in the “Europe for Citizens Forum” which marked the launching of the new Europe for Citizens programme (2014-2020). One of the purposes of the forum was to reflect on the most important conceptual issues facing the European citizenship, European memory and remembrance. ERIO had the opportunity to share some of the results of its projects funded under the programme’s Action 4 – Active European Remembrance, such has our new project MemoROM, our booklet “Useful resources on the Roma Holocaust” and our video “The untold story: Roma Holocaust”.

OTHER news

* Hungary makes historic apology for its role in the Holocaust
By ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Hungary, 27.01.2014  - Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Hungary has apologized for the first time ever for the role the country played in the Holocaust. News agency MTI reported today that the apology was made last Thursday by the Hungarian Ambassador to the UN, Csaba Körösi.
“Until today at this forum, no one has ever expressed, on behalf of the Hungarian state, its responsibility for its role in the Holocaust,” MTI quoted Ambassador Körösi as saying. The ambassador went on to say he would be making two separate statements of Hungarian responsibility that Thursday.
The ambassador made the apology during an event held at the UN on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary, whose victims were Jewish and Romani people. He then repeated it at the opening of an exhibition called “Remembrance of the Holocaust in Hungary” which was put together by various organizations with the participation of the Hungarian mission to the UN.

Read more here
* French MP avoids jail after saying Adolf Hitler "maybe didn't kill enough" Roma
By Tomas Jivanda, The Independent

24.01.2014 - Gilles Bourdouleix was found guilty of 'condoning crimes against humanity' after he was caught on camera making the statement during an altercation with a traveller community.
 A French MP has avoided jail after he was caught on camera saying “Hitler maybe didn't kill enough of them” during an altercation with a Roma community close to the town he is mayor of.
Gilles Bourdouleix, who represents the Maine-et-Loire department in Western France made the comments after confronting the group who had illegally parked on a field near the town of Cholet. After the video was widely broadcast across France, Bourdouleix was charged with ‘condoning crimes against humanity’, and was on Thursday found guilty. He was handed a 3000 euro fine by the court which the judges opted to suspend. He was also ordered to pay a 600 euro fine for insulting the journalist who caught him on tape.

Read more here
* European Union: EU Has Its Work Cut Out To Ensure Compliance With 28-Country Employment Discrimination Laws
By Balkans.com Business News Correspondent

20.01.2014 - European Union rules to tackle discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation have now been implemented by all Member States in national law. Now, further efforts are needed to apply them in practice. These are the key findings of a new report released by the European Commission. The Employment Equality Directive and Race Equality Directive, both adopted in 2000, were designed to combat discrimination. It's good news that these EU Directives are now national law in all 28 EU countries. However, the report highlights that national authorities still need to make sure they provide effective protection to victims of discrimination on the ground. Key challenges include a lack of public awareness of rights and underreporting of discrimination cases. To support this process, the Commission provides funding to raise awareness and to train legal practitioners in equality law. In addition, the European Commission has published guidance for victims of discrimination.

Read more here

* Czech Republic: Romani candidate proposed for Deputy Human Rights Minister
By ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the chair of the Czech Social Democrats, and Andrej Babiš, chair of the ANO movement, have not yet reached agreement on deputy ministerial appointments for the incoming cabinet. The names of some of the deputy ministers that ANO intends to send to the ministries have now been revealed.
Edita Stejskalová, a political scientist and Romani Studies scholar, is the ANO candidate for deputy to incoming Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier. "In principle, we don't want to send party members of ANO to the ministries, we want to send experts," Babiš said in an interview for the daily Právo, "and we would like to see the political scientist Edita Stejskalová become deputy to the minister without portfolio, Jiří Dienstbier."
Stejskalová, a member of the Romani community, has long been involved in Romani issues. In 2006 she founded the civic association Zvůle§Práva, which assisted victims of discrimination and was involved in the "Together to School" (Společně do školy) project, which endeavored to halt unjustified enrollments of Romani children into the “practical primary schools”, which are designed to serve children with light mental disability.

Read more here


* ERIO workshop “Remembering the Roma and Sinti Holocaust: challenges and opportunities at national level”

ERIO is organising a workshop on 26 February. The aim of this workshop is to discuss the challenges faced at national level when it comes to raising awareness and recognition of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust and finding possible solutions to overcome them taking into consideration the national context. The workshop will result in concrete recommendations to send to national governments, media, schools, museums, etc.
This workshop is part of a one-year project funded by the European Commission under the Europe for Citizens Programme: MemoROM “Keeping the Memory Alive: the Roma and Sinti Holocaust”.

Read more here

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