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FSG, together with other 8 European civil society organisations working for the rights of the Roma appeal the European Commission and European Council to ensure measures to mitigate the impact of the socio-sanitary crisis of COVID19 on the Roma population across Europe [editar]

Two letters have been sent to the Presidency of the European Commission and the European Council and the other to the Equality Commissioner.



The main organizations that work for the rights of the Roma population at a European level have mobilized and coordinated since the beginning of this crisis to ask the European Institutions that the measures that are being established be effective for Roma people, one of the groups that it is suffering the most the consequences of the pandemic. These requests have been translated into two letters  that have been sent to the highest representations of the European Commission and the European Council, as well as the Directorate General for Equality .

A first letter was sent to the Equality Commissioner, Helena Dalli, on behalf of nine European Civil Society organizations (including the FSG) (here), in which, while the creation of a European Coronavirus Response Fund was applauded, we ask the Commission to call on MS, as they draw down EU funds to respond to the crisis, to ensure that the needs and the rights of marginalized Roma communities are fully taken into account, and to guard against any additional hardships occasioned by emergency measures. In the same way, it was recalled the importance of educational resources being available to disadvantaged children so that they are not left behind in this new scenario of distance classes. Similarly, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano has been demanding measures from the Government of Spain since the beginning of this crisis. (here) (here) (here)

The Equality Commissioner responded on April 20 by means of another letter (here) assuring her commitment both that emergency sanitary measures would reach everyone and in compliance with the Racial Equality Directive to stop racist attacks on people like Roma and other stigmatized groups that are usually taken as a scapegoat.

On the other hand, on April 22 the European Coalition of Roma and pro-Roma organizations has sent a letter to the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel requesting the prioritize Fundamental Rights and the protection of the most vulnerable when redefining the EU agenda given the current situation (here). In particular, we urge EU leaders to address the following three priorities to ensure equal treatment, safety, well-being and equality for Roma communities and thus contribute to improving the pandemic situation for all Europeans:

  1. An immediate European humanitarian response should coordinate and allocate sufficient resources to all vulnerable groups, in particular marginalized Roma communities and all racialized minorities, making sure they are reached in all Member States and enlargement countries.
  2. The European Covid-19 Recovery Plan should fully take into account the needs of vulnerable Roma communities, and define them as a priority group in all mainstream policies and measures, including in economic aid and recovery, social protection, health care, housing, education and employment.
  3. A post 2020 “EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Social and Economic Justice and Combating antigypsyism must constitute a top priority in the Covid-19 response of the EU, Member States and Enlargement countries in order to comprehensively address the structural exclusion, inequality and vulnerability of Roma communities, that was dramatically exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are facing a crucial moment for our society in which the immediate problems suffered by people today must be tackled, but we cannot forget to put the means and political and social mechanisms so that in the medium term equal rights are achieved, if no, we run the risk of deepening the social gap.

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