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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article5 April 2019Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

International Roma Day: Statement by First Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioners Hahn, Thyssen, Jourová and Creţu

Ahead of International Roma Day on 8 April, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioners Johannes Hahn, Marianne Thyssen, Vĕra Jourová and Corina Creţu stated: "Today, we celebrate Roma culture and remember their history, which has been an...

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Ahead of International Roma Day on 8 April, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioners Johannes Hahn, Marianne Thyssen, Vĕra Jourová and Corina Creţu stated: "Today, we celebrate Roma culture and remember their history, which has been an intricate part of Europe for centuries. Despite being Europe's largest minority, Roma communities still suffer from widespread discrimination and marginalisation. This prevents them from accessing fundamental rights to education, employment, decent housing or basic health services. Antigypsyism is on the rise. We are witnessing extreme speeches, including from politicians, and the spreading of hate speech and fake news online. Words lead to hate, and hate leads to violence. We have to be vigilant that Roma do not again become the target of harassment and attacks. We must learn from our history and we must prevent fanning the flames of past hatred. To do this we need to firmly stand by our founding values. The EU stands for a society where equal treatment is the reality for all minorities, and in which the same rights and opportunities are afforded to Roma communities as to anyone else. This is who we are." The full statement is available online.

For more information:

Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253
Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659

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