ERIO fully supports Commissioner Vladimír Špidla's condemnation yesterday
of the "atrocities against the Roma"|
The European Roma Informaiton Office (ERIO) fully supports Commissioner
Vladimír Špidla's condemnation yesterday of the "atrocities against the
Roma" committed in Italy over the past weeks and confirms Mr Špidla's remark
that this is not "an isolated case". ERIO also supports Mr. Špidla’s call on
all Member States to guarantee the safety of Roma and the respect of human
Mr. Ivan Ivanov, ERIO executive director, calls on the Italian and other
Member States’ governments to make every effort to enforce the European
legislation against discrimination and to made full use of the funds that
the EU provides for a better integration of Roma people in the society,
notably for decent housing and access to health services, education and
ERIO therefore endorses Commissioner Leonard Obran’s recent call on Italy
to fully use the social funds available for this purpose. Italy has only
used 3.2 million Euro on integration projects, compared to the 4.4 Euro
the Czech Republic and the 7.5 Euro million used in Poland, two countries
where the Roma situation has not reached the alarming seriousness that it
has in Italy.
Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Lívia Járóka's stated
that "the situation of the Roma is terrible everywhere in Europe, not
just in Italy. All governments are to blame, of right and left, because
they have not succeeded in promoting the integration of the Roma in
In this regard, ERIO hopes that the discussion on Roma at the European
level will go on beyond the extraordinary debate that took place
yesterday during the European Parliament plenary session. Mr Ivanov
hopes that awareness on the dramatic situation of Roma people, raised by
last weeks’ violence against them, will encourage European and national
decision makers to adopt long term policies to fully integrate Roma.
Recalling the responsibilities of politicians from all levels and all
countries to counter the alarming growth of right-wing extremism and
racism, those responsible for anti-Roma violence must be prosecuted.
Such violent acts are strongly encouraged by the dangerous populist
attitude of some politicians and government representatives,
particularly in Italy.
Finally, ERIO expresses extreme dismay and concern at the suggestion
of far right Italian MEP Luca Romagnoli to "create a Roma state in the
East, where Roma could govern themselves autonomously". Such proposals
are reminiscent of those made by the Nazis and can not be accepted in
a democratic Europe.