Press release - CG008(2012)

International Roma Day: Congress President calls for constant dialogue at the grassroots level to avoid discrimination and marginalisation

Strasbourg, 5 April 2012. – In view of International Roma Day on 8 April that brings attention to challenges Roma people continue to face in Europe, Keith Whitmore, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, underlined the role of territorial self-government bodies for the implementation of inclusive and socially responsible Roma policies:

“Since in many Council of Europe countries, the local and regional authorities are in charge of housing, social care and educational establishments, local politicians do have a specific responsibility in this respect. Through constant dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, it should be possible to achieve pragmatic solutions to provide Roma people equal access to housing, healthcare, education and jobs. At the same time, the readiness to engage in dialogue is fundamental to fight discrimination and marginalisation and to build bridges across different parts of our society. Together with our partners, the Congress is currently establishing a new network for Roma inclusion at the grassroots level, which was conceived at last year’s European Summit of Mayors in Strasbourg and will be launched in September”, Mr Whitmore concluded.

Website of the Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion

Communication Division of the Congress
of Local and Regional Authorities
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Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 27 51