Joseph Daul, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, and Lívia Járóka MEP, the only Roma Member of the European Parliament, commenting on International Roma Day on 8 April, said: "The 8th of April, International Roma Day, provides us each year with an opportunity for celebrating Romani culture and for paying tribute to the common history of Roma with major societies over centuries. But more than that, this celebration is also an obligation for all of us to review what we have achieved in the almost quarter of a century since the establishment of International Roma Day by the fourth World Romani Congress in Warsaw."
"With the aim of bridging one of the biggest social gaps in Europe, improving policy-making, addressing serious human rights breaches, the first ever EU-level effort for Roma inclusion was launched in 2011 by the Hungarian Presidency with the strong support of the EPP Group. The European Framework of National Roma Inclusion Strategies is based on the belief that the socio-economic inclusion of Roma is possible, desirable and above all necessary for our future. The EPP Group continues to fight to make this happen," Daul confirmed.
"I truly hope that the Framework will be able to overcome its early shortcomings, since after the clear and very disappointing failure of the Decade of Roma Inclusion initiative, it would be an irreparable mistake to let the European Framework be downgraded into superficial window-dressing, while we are losing another generation of Roma who sink deeper into social exclusion. And in these times of economic crisis, when the very functioning of the EU is being put to the test, it is even more important to lift those obstacles that vulnerable and marginalized communities encounter and to help them gain full access to their rights as EU citizens," highlighted Lívia Járóka, the only Roma MEP (Fidesz).
"Alleviating the substandard living conditions of our continent's most vulnerable community is a moral obligation for a union based on values, but more than that, the socio-economic inclusion of Roma afflicted by massive and persistent unemployment represents a huge opportunity for preserving and developing our ailing economies.
The EPP Group is dedicated to guiding the Framework Strategy towards achieving tangible results by the end of this decade. We are committed to designing a new, more inclusive and more prosperous Europe by alleviating the exclusion of Roma, through building a broad and consistent partnership of all the stakeholders," concluded Joseph Daul and Lívia Járóka