International Roma Day: The EPP Group is dedicated to make further progress on the inclusion of Roma.

Commenting on the International Roma day on 8th of April the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul and Lívia Járóka, MEP of Roma origin, stated: “8th April is the International Roma Day, devoted to celebrate Roma history, culture and raise awareness of the situation that Romani people are facing. Though further progress shall be made, we have much to celebrate since last year. The adoption of the European Roma Strategy, the creation of national action plans brings promise to the whole Romani community that inclusion of Roma can become a tangible reality. The EPP Group, as before, is fighting in the forefront to make this happen".

“The socio-economic inclusion of our most excluded communities is not only a moral imperative and a staggering political challenge, but at the same time one of the most promising opportunities for our economies. Based on this recognition, the European People's Party was the first European-level political formation which has adopted its own strategy on Roma integration in 2006, while in 2010 the EPP Group's Working Group on Roma Inclusion was formed”, reminded Joseph Daul, chairman of the EPP Group.

“On 8th April we remember the first international meeting of Roma activists in 1971, who gathered in Orpington near London. This inaugural session of the International Romani Union accepted the Romani flag and adopted the song “Gelem, Gelem” composed by Jarko Jovanovic as an anthem. Since then, 8th April is the day to celebrate Romani culture, to pay our tribute to the centuries-long common history of Roma and non-Roma and to raise awareness for the situation of Europe's largest, yet most marginalized ethnic minority”, said Lívia Járóka MEP

“Besides celebrating Romani culture, the International Roma Day shall also remind us the challenges and everyday-problems Roma society faces today throughout Europe. In this regard, we have much to celebrate since last year. As a result of the Hungarian Presidency’s efforts, the European Union has recently launched the European Roma Strategy. The initiative is a milestone as it – compared to the approach of previous years – requires all Member States to implement national action plans for Roma inclusion. All EU countries must engage themselves in a concerted effort in order to overcome the historic social exclusion of the continent’s largest ethnic minority “, highlighted Lívia Járóka Hungarian MEP.

“After the adoption of the European Roma Strategy, the successful launch of the national Roma inclusion strategies is next on the agenda. It is once again the EU institutions' turn to act and to further promote the rapid launch of tangible and specific programmes under the auspices of the framework. The EPP Group is dedicated to make further progress on the inclusion of Roma and ready to provide all support on this matter. On the occasion of the International Roma Day, I call all Member States and Roma people to do their utmost to act responsible and make use of the opportunities provided by the European Roma Strategy”, concluded Joseph Daul, chairman of the EPP Group.