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International Roma Day in the EP

International Roma Day in the EP

2012. 03. 28.

The Bulgarian EPP Group Delegation organized a celebration in the European Parliament honouring the International Roma Day. In her speech MEP Lívia Járóka reminded that the International Roma Day was celebrated throughout the world since 1990, remembering the 1971 opening session of the World Roma Congress in Orpington. "This day is a celebration of Romani culture, raising awareness of the issues facing Romani people, a tribute to our centuries-long common history and a proud confession of "romipen", being Roma" – she said. However, Járóka also emphasized that despite the efforts for its propagation by civil activists and politicians, the vast majority of European Roma had never even heard of this day. This is symptomatic for the situation of Roma who have not developed their ability to participate in the decisions affecting their lives, to effectively and firmly articulate their needs and to rise above the role of a passive target group.

Járóka highlighted that the European Union had launched the European Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies, under which all Member States had developed and submitted their long-term action plan for Roma inclusion. This step itself was a quantum leap compared to the situation of previous years. She warned that social inclusion efforts must not be overshadowed by the focus on fiscal consolidation and that targeting the poorest of the EU must not only be kept on the agenda but also further promoted by investing in sustainable job creation.