Magazine article European Social Policy

Roma Integration : Parliament Should Demand Compulsory Targets, Say Libe Meps

Magazine article European Social Policy

Roma Integration : Parliament Should Demand Compulsory Targets, Say Libe Meps

Article excerpt

MEPs are soon expected to demand sanctions against member states which fail to respect future EU targets for the integration of Roma populations, according to a vote in the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE), on 14 February in Strasbourg. Its members expressed themselves in expectation of a strategy to be presented by the European Commission in April. The objective is to strengthen national policies whereas member states still lack political willpower.

The Roma people (10 to 12 million in the EU) have suffered systematic discrimination and are struggling against "an intolerable degree of exclusion, as well as human rights violations [...] in public and private life," underlines the resolution, which will be submitted to the EP plenary in March. According to the Conservative Hungarian rapporteur, Livia Jaroka, their integration is not merely a human rights obligation, but also an economic need.

The LIBE committee urges the Commission to present a road map for introducing "binding minimum standards" in the EU based on various priorities: combating all forms of discrimination, segregation, hate speech, ethnic profiling and unlawful fingerprinting, as well as unlawful eviction and expulsion; effective access to the labour market by making microcredit available for entrepreneurship and self-employment; affordable and healthy housing, the abolition of territorial segregation and the recording of all Roma citizens in up-to-date registers of births, marriages and deaths; and access to education and training, the abolition of school and classroom segregation (by employing Roma school mediators and increasing the number of Roma teachers). …

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