International Romani Day is the day to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of the issues faced by the Romani people. Out of an estimated 10 to 12 million Romani people living in Europe and at least six million Romani people live in the EU, experiencing all kinds of discrimination and violence, from forced evictions from their homes to classes in schools reserved for Romani as well as being victims of racist violence.  

According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) 80% of Romani people live in poverty and their life expectancy is up to 11 years less than the rest of the population in Europe. In 2020, the European Commission launched a new strategy for Romani integration with a resounding communication which nonetheless feel short on several structural issues . 

Left MEP Patricia Caro Maya (Podemos, Spain)  a committed activist to the rights of Roma women and men, said : “International Roma Day is a time of remembrance of our resistance to the historical attempts of genetic and cultural extermination against us,  reclaiming our identity and resilience as a people beyond national borders. We must not forget the current challenges we face due to structurally rooted antigypsyism, which is ultimately a political issue at the heart of the European Union, and its eradication requires the commitment of the EU institutions”

Society needs to change, in the European Parliament a resolution concerning the rights of romani people was voted by a large majority of parliament. This called on member states to put in place concrete policies for the integration of Roma through schools, employment, the development of public policies and plans to combat discrimination and poverty among this particularly vulnerable population. But more than words, we need concrete actions to fight and dismantle systemic discrimination and build a Europe of equality for all. 

For years, The Left has been calling for dignity and human rights  of the Roma population in Europe.  Back in 2016, Left MEP Cornelia Ernst (Die Linke, Germany) had already pointed out that “We must understand that Roma people have lived in Europe for over 600 years. That should be long enough for us to see them as colleagues, neighbours, and above all, people who belong in Europe”

Opre Roma!

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Antifaschismus muss Grundkonsens sein