The European Commission has said that it shares the concern of the Celtic League about ongoing discrimination against Roma/Travellers. The League had written to express disquiet over racist attacks on Travellers near Stonehaven in Scotland recently and eviction notices served on the group (see link).
The text of the response from the Commission is set out below;
“Dear Mr Moffatt,
Thank you for your letter on 23/07, in which you updated the Travellers`
situation in the United Kingdom.
We are aware of the case in Stonehaven which is very worrying, like in some
other Member States.
The European Commission takes the situation of Roma people (Travellers) in
Europe very seriously. We have, in particular during the last two years,
strengthened our efforts to make the available legal and financial instruments for Roma inclusion as well as the different policies in key areas (such as education, employment, social inclusion, the access to health and housing) more effective. Since it is obvious that deeply entrenched problems, which have not just one root cause, cannot be solved with simple solutions.
Reminding you, that any sustainable solution needs the full co-operation of
national governments, local authorities, other key players as well as the Roma communities and their NGOs. The 2nd European Roma Summit, which took place in Cordoba on 8-9 April 2010 took stock of the developments during the past two years and renewed the commitment of the EU and of Member States to reinforce the framework of a tight co-operation. This commitment was reinforced by the Employment, Social Policy health and Consumer Affaires Council Conclusions of 7 June, which invite the Commission and the Member States to advance the social and economic integration of Roma people in close cooperation and in accordance
with their respective competences.
As it stated in my previous letter, the Commission Communication on the social and economic integration of Roma people adopted on 7 April, outlines an ambitious plan for action for the next years, stressing the human rights dimension of the inclusion.
With regard to the third element of your proposal to focus on the development of Roma people in rural areas who are active in the agricultural sector I would like to inform you that the European Commission has started already in 2009 to organize bilateral meetings at high level between the national governments and the Commission on more effective use of the three biggest EU funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development). These meetings aim at encouraging Member States to make
a more targeted use of EU Structural Funds for Roma inclusion. The next
bilateral meeting will take place in October 2010 in Romania.
For more detailed information on this communication and on our activities,
please visit our website: https://ec.europa.eu/roma.
Due to an internal re-structuring, I let you know, that the antidiscrimination
aspect of the Roma/Travellers` integration falls within the competence of
Commissioner Reding, therefore I propose to you to get in contact with them who will provide proper follow-up.
Cabinet of Mr. László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion European Commission”
Related links on Celtic News here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information