Is EU Roma Strategy a compulsory tool for Roma inclusion?

The coalition of non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International and the Open Society Institute, for the last 5 years is pushing for an EU-wide strategy on Roma, who continue to face strong discrimination in parts of Europe.

In a number of official communications to European Commission the NGOs urged the executive body to "become a catalyst actor in making Roma inclusion a reality in Europe" and to set up "an EU framework strategy to promote Roma inclusion". But, according to the activists, Brussels has adopted "a rather passive approach" in dealing with the Roma issue, limiting itself to existing policies and stressing member states' responsibilities.

Despite the European Parliament calling upon the European Commission to develop a policy towards Roma, there is so far not even a draft of such strategy. The move by NGOs done during the recent 2-nd European Roma Summit is yet another push for common European guidelines.

Is EU Roma Strategy a compulsory tool for Roma inclusion?

Yes because... No because...

The tool for long-term solution

The adoption of such Strategy would have better results, because the will to address the problems of Roma will be highlighted and would have a form of specific legislation spared from "free interpretation" by national authorities. It will stress member states' responsibilities in a greater degree then currently existing fragmentary policies.

Is EU Roma Strategy a compulsory tool for Roma inclusion?

Yes because... No because...

Subsidiarity is only working in some cases

According to some EU officials, the policy concerning Roma inclusion should be elaborated on the national level, it is a matter of subsidiarity. On the other hand, there are 12 million Roma living in Europe in different countries. There are obvious similarities in their lives: the Romanes language, the Roma culture and sadly most of them are facing everyday-life discrimination. Local issues should be solved on the local level, but EU issues should be addressed on the community level. We might ask what community level issues are if not the policies concerning Roma inclusion?

Is EU Roma Strategy a compulsory tool for Roma inclusion?

Yes because... No because...

All for one and one for all!

Without more incentive Eu states will not push Roma human rights issues any further. The people need to know that it is unacceptable behaviour to continue to marginilize the Roma and to treat all its citizens with respect, regardless of colour or religion. It is truly mind blowing to know that this behaviour is still acceptable in the 21st century.

First and foremost, they should quit addressing it solely as the Roma issue. It seems the general public needs a widespread media campaign focussing on changing the majority attitudes of discrimination, prejudice and dehumanizing the Roma.

Second, they need to address educating the Roma. this strategy should, also, include anti-bullying campaigns and diversity training at the school level - both teachers and students. Along with education more job training is needed.

Thirdly, most people who have faced the amount of adversity that the Roma have faced need counselling (PTSD, etc.). This an utopian idea, very costly and unlikely to happen. Perhaps with new attitudes, acceptance and tolerance for the Roma, the Roma may stand a chance of healing which will show in their future generations.

Moving forward will take a lot of work on both sides but well worth the effort. This can only be facilitated if all EU members are involved and a more unified stance in fighting racism and intolerance is adopted. This is the 21st century and is long over due.

Is EU Roma Strategy a compulsory tool for Roma inclusion?

Yes because... No because...

Yes but...

Our people had been declared a 'paneuropean nation without territory' by the highest European bodies, and it's accepted. So, a Strategy must and could be usefull. But: a) any 'strategy' drafted without our participation will be fiction (this 2nd summit was for Roma without Roma); b) our paneuropean nation is not only in the EU countries - it's not our guilty to live outside EU: in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, White Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia. The current EU policy towards Roma is politically disriminating the whole nation by dividing us into 'europeans' and 'Roma of the second\third... class' (or what?). And it's a greate task for our EU Roma leaders to just explain to the MPs etc. that any strategy MUST include the WHOLE ROMA NATION.

EU authorities may demand Roma inclusion and integration in EU -candidate states, they may call non-EU countries to follow "EU example" in Roma issues. But they can not "include" all Roma communities across Eurasia into their strategies. It would not work neither de juro, neither de facto.

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