The European Parliament in Strasbourg held a debate on the situation of Roma in Member States

The European Parliament in Strasbourg held a debate on the situation of Roma in Member States. MEP Lívia Járóka pointed out four tasks that await EU institutions: the evaluation and possible revision of national Roma inclusion strategies by the Commission, the development of a European crisis map measuring up the most disadvantaged micro-regions, the modification of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and the full transposition and implementation of the EU directive on equal treatment.

The European Parliament held a debate on the situation of Roma in the Member States with the participation of the European Council and the European Commission. In her speech on behalf of the European People's Party, MEP Lívia Járóka pointed out four tasks that are essential for the success of the European Framework of National Roma Inclusion Strategies that has been adopted in July. According to Járóka, first the institutional and coordinational starting line needs to be finalized, for which the European Commission must strictly evaluate the national strategies that are to be submitted until the end of this year and also present specific recommendations for their possible revision. Second – she emphasized – a crisis map must be established to identify and measure the underdeveloped areas struggling with serious structural disadvantages where complex immediate intervention is necessary. Járóka expressed her hope that the recently ongoing survey carried out by the Fundamental Rights Agency under the supervision of the Commission will fulfil these requirements. She called the modification of the next Multiannual Financial Framework the third task, so that EU and national funds can contribute to the substantial and enduring improvement of the life conditions of Roma. As examples, Járóka mentioned the longer time coverage and greater territorial relevance of programmes, the eligibility of the provision of quality public services and the review of co-financing rules, so that projects targeting Roma could possibly be required to have a lesser share of co-financing from the country, with a higher share by the EU. Fourth, the 2000/43 directive on equal treatment must be fully implemented by the Member States and enforced by the Commission, the National Equality Bodies strengthened, and all violations these legal principles immediately reported and sanctioned if necessary – she said.

In her answer, Elżbieta Radziszewska, the Polish government's Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment called the unsustainable life conditions of Roma Europe's shame and confirmed that the Council would pay special attention to the implementation of the framework strategy, including the proper complexity of national strategies. The representative of the Polish Presidency also highlighted the work of Lívia Járóka as the rapporteur of the European Parliament's report on the EU strategy on Roma inclusion. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport praised the political and institutional unity behind the framework strategy and confirmed that the Commission is committed to its effective implementation. The commissioner also emphasized that the goal was to grant equal access for Roma to all fundamental rights and highlighted that the Commission will closely monitor the proper transposition of the 2000/43 EU directive on equal treatment.