Press release - 606(2010)

PACE President expresses concern over the situation of Roma in Europe

Strasbourg, 20.08.2010 - “Recent developments in several European countries, most recently evictions of Roma camps in France and expulsions of Roma from France and Germany, are certainly not the right measures to improve the situation of this vulnerable minority. On the contrary, they are likely to lead to an increase in racist and xenophobic feelings in Europe,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), today declared.

Following a debate in June, PACE said it was shocked by recent outrages against this minority in Europe. “Taking advantage of the financial crisis, some governments and groups capitalise on fears deriving from the equation made between Roma and criminals, choosing a scapegoat that presents an easy target, as Roma are among the most vulnerable groups of all. The European Court of Human Rights has regularly condemned states in which Roma have suffered from abuse or discrimination,” the President said, recalling also that Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights prohibited the collective expulsion of aliens.

Stressing that the process of Roma integration has not reached its objectives over the last 20 years, the PACE President urged member states to face up to their responsibilities and to tackle the issue of the situation of Roma seriously and sustainably. He re-iterated PACE’s call for determined measures with regard to education, employment, housing, health care and political participation.

The PACE President welcomed the adoption by many member states of national strategies for improving the situation and the integration of Roma. “This is positive but not sufficient. Such action plans need adequate and long-term funding, efficient co-ordination and have also to be implemented at local and regional levels.”

The situation of Roma in Europe will also be one of the issues to be discussed during the PACE President’s official visit to Romania from 29 August to 1 September.

Resolution 1740 (2010) on the situation of Roma in Europe and relevant activities of the Council of Europe

Recommendation 1924 (2010) on the situation of Roma in Europe and relevant activities of the Council of Europe

Council of Europe file “Roma and Travellers”

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