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Statement by the FSG on occasion of the 2nd European Roma Summit[editar]

30 de Marzo de 2010

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On behalf of the FSG [1] we would like to express our views and expectations in relation to the 2nd European Roma Summit that will be held in Spain on April 8th and 9th. 

First of all, we value the organisation of this second Summit [2] very highly, as well as the fact that this is one of the key issues of the Spanish Presidency of the Council. This Summit, together with the recent resolution by the European Parliament [3], is starting to appear on the Agenda of the European institutions and of some Member States in a more resolute manner than previously. on the Roma issue. 

This should lead to a new approach to the Roma issue in Europe that should overcome the lightness, lack of commitment and, very often, the rhetoric with which many institutions and states have been responding to the Roma situation over recent decades. 

As has been stated in certain Resolutions by the European Parliament and Conclusions by the European Council, we believe the European Union and society can no longer tolerate such high levels of accumulated inequality and injustice affecting an ethnic minority. Today, belonging to the Roma community -in Spain, but also in any other European country- is a major factor linked to rejection and social exclusion [4]

We believe that the Spanish Presidency of the EU should imply a greater step forward compared to the previous summit and lay the foundations for the development of a European Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma with a view to addressing, in a decisive manner, the plight of poverty, social exclusion, discrimination and racism suffered by the Roma community in Europe. 

Currently, both the EU and Member States have political and financial instruments to address this situation in full. We are aware of what must be done to advance the inclusion of the Roma community and we also have the means and tools to do so. It is now time to show the necessary political will and to articulate a consistent response. 

We believe that if real progress is to be achieved on this issue, the European Union must adopt the European Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma which, in our view, already incorporates the key elements required for its implementation: 

  1. Providing content and operational structures to the European Platform for the Inclusion of Roma with a view to implementing it as soon as possible in order to support the co-ordination and participation of key elements required for the success of the Strategy. 
  2. Structural Funds are the main financial tool required to achieve social cohesion. However, their use must be reorganised in order to consider the situation of the Roma community as a key issue, both for the remainder of this Planning Period (2007-2013) and in the next. 
  3. Additionally, the Roma issue should be a transversal element in the Agenda 2020, ensuring that they benefit from the various actions (knowledge society, inclusive society ...). A key requirement is to prioritise actions in education, such as basic and fundamental investments to sever the inter-generational transmission of poverty from which many Roma people suffer.
  4. In the Open Method of Coordination of Member States, the inclusion of the Roma people has to be one of the key issues used to specify goals and to measure any progress made by State policies on education, health, housing and access to employment, based on the Common Basic Principles [5]. that have been established.Enhancing the implementation of existing instruments related to equality and combating discrimination to make them truly effective against discrimination and to combat anti-Roma sentiments, which are unfortunately so prevalent in Europe
  5. Promote measures aimed at recognising cultural identities, promoting social awareness and social participation to complement all the above measures and policies through Community Programmes. 
  6. The European Commission must play a leading role in this policy. We understand the responsibility of Member States and it is they who are responsible for developing social inclusion measures. However, we must underline the responsibility and the potential of the Commission in creating the conditions, promoting and measuring progress in relation to social inclusion policies that target a minority of unquestionably European citizens present in all EU countries.

We hope that this 2nd European Summit held in Cordoba will lead to a clear improvement in the effective citizenship of the Roma people in Europe and, with this in mind, we urge the Spanish Presidency and the Commission to promote a number of Conclusions that must be adopted by the European Council in June 2010 involving decisive progress in defining a European Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma as social organisations and the European Parliament have been demanding.

[1] The FSG is an inter-cultural organisation committed to the integral promotion of the Roma community, which has worked for over 25 years in Spain and also at European level over the last decade.
[2] The First European Roma Summit was held in Brussels on 16 September 2008.
[3] European Parliament Resolution of 25 March 2010 on the Second European Roma Summit. P7_TA(2010)0085.
[4] As stated in the VI FOESSA Report on exclusion and social development in Spain (2008) prepared by Caritas Española.
[5] “10 Common Basic Principles for Roma Inclusion", contained in the Conclusions Document of the Council on the inclusion of the Roma. Luxembourg, 8 June 2009.