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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article30 July 20211 min read

European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Statement by President von der Leyen, Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Dalli

“Today, we mark the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. We pay our respects to the hundreds of thousands of Roma victims...

Roma holocaust Memorial day

Ahead of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, on 2 August, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, stated:

“Today, we mark the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. We pay our respects to the hundreds of thousands of Roma victims of the Holocaust and renew our efforts and commitment for Roma equality, inclusion and participation.

Remembering the Roma persecution is a European collective duty that reminds us of the need to tackle their persisting discrimination. Hate, racially motivated violence and ethnic profiling have no place in our Union, built on the respect for fundamental rights.

Today, we once again invite the Member States to commit to our EU Roma Strategic Framework for equality, inclusion and participation from October 2020. Together we can make the European Union more equal, in particular for members of its largest ethnic minority.”


In 2015, the European Parliament declared 2 August as the annual "European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day" to commemorate the 500,000 European Roma – representing at least a quarter of their total population at that time– murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe.

On 2 August 2019, Věra Jourová, then Commissioner for Justice, joined the commemoration ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau to mark the 75th anniversary of the extermination of the last remaining Roma in the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This year on 2 August, Commissioner Dalli will speak via video message at the official virtual Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony of the European Holocaust Memorial Day of Roma and Sinti, at the initiative of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.

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Publication date
30 July 2021