"The social inclusion of the Roma is one of the most important strategic challenges that Europe faces and at the same time it provides one of the most promising opportunities for the continent", said Lívia Járóka MEP, Rapporteur of the EU Strategy on Roma Inclusion. Late last night, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament adopted Lívia Járóka's Report with an overwhelming majority. The adoption of a European Roma Strategy is one of the most important priorities of the Hungarian Presidency, which aims to launch the programme during its term.
The objectives of the document drafted by the only MEP of Roma origin were overwhelmingly supported by all the six political groups of the EP. Nearly 400 amendments were tabled and almost 40 compromise agreements were reached before voting, and four Opinions were considered from the committees on Employment and Social Affairs, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Culture and Education, and Regional Development.
The Report calls on the Commission and the Council to develop a Community strategy on a firm legal basis for the social inclusion of the Roma, coordinated and monitored by the Community Institutions, which allows for an annual evaluation of results regarding the priorities and objectives detailed in the Report.
The document also urges drawing an EU-wide crisis map which measures and locates those micro-regions where poverty and social exclusion mostly affecting Roma communities is concentrated. Among others, the Report also proposes the adoption of common, comparable and reliable indicators and the adoption of an ‘enlargement dimension’, so that candidate countries and potential candidates could be associated in the Strategy.
“With the adoption of the Report in the LIBE Committee, we have taken a step closer to launching this Strategy which will enable the hopeless masses living in poverty today to become equal citizens of tomorrow”, said Lívia Járóka MEP.
The plenary will vote on the Report in early March.