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International Roma Day: EPP Group dedicated to making further progress on the inclusion of Roma

International Roma Day: EPP Group dedicated to making further progress on the inclusion of Roma

2012. 04. 04.

"The socio-economic inclusion of our most excluded communities is not only a moral imperative and a staggering political challenge, but at the same time one of the most promising opportunities for our economies. Based on this recognition, the European People's Party was the first European-level political formation to adopt its own strategy on Roma integration in 2006, while in 2010 the EPP Group's Working Group on Roma Inclusion was formed", recalled Joseph Daul MEP.

"On 8 April, we remember the first international meeting of Roma activists in 1971, who gathered in Orpington near London. This inaugural session of the International Romani Union accepted the Romani flag and adopted the song 'Gelem, Gelem' composed by Jarko Jovanovic as an anthem. Since then, 8 April is the day to celebrate the Romani culture, to pay our tribute to the centuries-long common history of Roma and non-Roma and to raise awareness for the situation of Europe's largest, yet most marginalised ethnic minority", said Lívia Járóka MEP.

"Besides celebrating Romani culture, the International Roma Day shall also remind us of the challenges and everyday problems Roma society faces today throughout Europe. In this regard, we have much to celebrate since last year. As a result of the Hungarian Presidency's efforts, the European Union has recently launched the European Roma Strategy. The initiative is a milestone as it – compared to the approach of previous years – requires all Member States to implement national action plans for Roma inclusion. All EU countries must engage themselves in a concerted effort in order to overcome the historic social exclusion of the continent's largest ethnic minority", highlighted Lívia Járóka MEP.

"After the adoption of the European Roma Strategy, the successful launch of the national Roma inclusion strategies is next on the agenda. It is once again the EU Institutions' turn to act and further promote the rapid launch of tangible and specific programmes under the auspices of the framework. The EPP Group is dedicated to making further progress on the inclusion of Roma and ready to provide all support on this matter. On the occasion of the International Roma Day, I call on all Member States and Roma people to do their utmost to act responsibly and make use of the opportunities provided by the European Roma Strategy", concluded Joseph Daul MEP.