Press release - DC084(2012)

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland welcomes French meeting on Roma

Strasbourg, 21.08.2012 – “Wednesday’s meeting announced by the French government on Roma is a welcome step towards finding long-lasting solutions.

“The Council of Europe has consistently stressed the need to go beyond short-term measures. Simply moving Roma families around within or between states merely worsens their conditions.

“Only comprehensive policies that ensure fair treatment and proper access to human rights will turn the situation around. This means focused and consistent efforts in areas such as education, housing, health care and employment. Involvement and empowerment of Roma are crucial to achieve real change.

“France was amongst the 47 Council of Europe member states to agree these policy priorities on Roma in the 2010 Strasbourg Declaration, and is committed to cooperate with other European countries to improve life for the Roma – Europe’s most marginalised minority.

“The Strasbourg declaration has led to programmes that will enable strong and effective policies for Roma integration throughout the whole of Europe, including a joint COE - EU Roma mediator programme in 20 member states, reinforcing the capacity of local authorities, and stronger cooperation between governments to learn which policies work well.

“I encourage France and other member countries to make full use of this European support to bring about much needed improvements in conditions for the Roma.”

Council of Europe Directorate of Communications
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11