Roma on the “European agenda”


By URBACT, on September 8th, 2010

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When a Government chooses to target people on the basis of ethnicity the actions encourage further discrimination and aggravate the already complex issue of Roma exclusion.  The recent declarations and actions of President Sarkozy to expel significant numbers of Roma people from France is not a demonstration of strong Government and is clearly at odds with the spirit of European Union policies.  The actions lump all Roma people and make negative stereotypical judgments which show a lack of tolerance and a general failure to comprehend the complexity of the issues and level of discrimination that many Romani people in Europe face.   

ROMA-NeT, funded by URBACT II is a new project to bring together nine European Cities to work together to develop strategic, but locally adapted, measures to support the social and economic inclusion of the young Roma people that reside in their Cities.  ROMA-NeT offers an alternative approach which motivates the City authorities to bring together all the service providers to work with local communities to improve the quality and life opportunities of young Roma adults. 

The recent actions in France further stigmatise Roma people, and make the issue of Roma social and economic exclusion more deeply entrenched and more difficult to deal with.  Such actions undermine much of the hard work that is already being carried out across Europe to advance Roma inclusion.  Roma inclusion demands a long term approach which depends heavily on community trust and cannot go forward without cooperating partnerships between all levels of Government, national, local and NGOs, and the Roma community.  

The European Roma Rights Centre supports the actions of ROMA-NeT, see for more information about the evictions and deportations of Roma from France.

Ann Morton Hyde
Lead Expert

One Response to “Roma on the “European agenda””

  1. Zita Olah says:

    It is frightening to see the increasing number of moves that leaders of more European countries take against the very fundamental human rights. After WWII we were – as little children – told, that it can not happen again, but the course these actions and plans – the French President’s kicking out of people, and the Hungarian recently elected parliamentary far-right wing party’s idea of organizing camps (!) … – take is towards general violance. Once again. It starts as a little gap between the declared idea of democracy and the overlooked practice of differentiation, and goes towards exclusion and „scapegoating a minority group who live by a different code of behaviour”. Seemingly small, unimportant steps, decisions or a momentary ignoramce cause killing and the whole machine runs towards war. Europe is overcrowded, we know, but please! By paying attention we can know, and by knowing we can respect. And respect is a very good basis – the only basis? – for conversation and solving problems.

    Zita Olah, Budapest

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