European Roma Grass-roots Organisations co-organise EU Roma Week
The EU Roma Week 2017 will be held from 27th March to 3rd April 2017 to mark the occasion of the International Roma Day on 8th April. The International Roma Day in 2017 will commemorate the 46th anniversary of the first Romani Congress that was organised in London in 1971.
The second EU Roma Week is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Parliament, together with civil society and international organisations. Between 27 and 29 March, numerous Members of the European Parliament will host events on antigypsyism, political participation of Roma, funding for civil society, recognition of the Roma Holocaust and litigation to fight school segregation. An exhibition and reception in the European Parliament will close the week on 3rd April in Strasbourg.
The EU Roma Week aims to further the recognition of antigypsyism as the root-cause of the exclusion and marginalisation of Roma in Europe. The first step towards a new generation of more efficient policies and programmes that will make a real change for the Roma in Europe is to recognise antigypsyism as a specific form of racism in its various forms and to fight it at all levels of our societies. Without systematic and long-term efforts of public institutions to address antigypsyism, EU and governmental policies on Roma inclusion will remain without impact.
It furthermore aims to establish a Roma Holocaust Memorial Day to recognise the extermination of 500,000 Roma during World War II. The Roma Week will also be an important step for the mid-term review of the EU Roma framework and the planning towards the Post 2020 process.
Already from tomorrow, Friday 24th March, a group of young Roma activists will take part in an advocacy training organised by ERGO Network, the youth organisation TernYpe, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the Dokumentations-und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sinti und Roma, where young people will prepare their contributions to the Roma Week. Activists from enlargement countries will be present as well for a common programme with DG NEAR and to receive the Second EU Roma Integration Award for the Western Balkans and Turkey.
One of the highlights of the week will be a breakfast meeting between young people and MEPs in the morning of 29th March, organised by ERGO Network. ERGO further hosts a big Roma Week Party in Mundo B on 28th March and co-organises several other events.
Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, deputy director of ERGO Network, said: “Civil Society took a very important role in preparing the Roma Week and in shaping the content of the discussions. This makes it a great space for dialogue between the European institutions and civil society. We are looking forward to the diverse events and to contributing to shaping the EU Roma agenda together.”
Hosting MEPs: Soraya Post, Brando Benifei, Bodil Ceballos, Damian Draghici, Cornelia Ernst, Fredrick Federley, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Benedek Javor, Barbara Lochbihler, Peter Niedermuller, Tania González Peñas, Terry Reintke, Barbara Spinelli and Tomáš Zdechovský.
Co--organising civil society organisations and institutions: ERGO Network, Fundacion Secretariado Gitanos, ternYpe, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, European Roma Rights Centre, European Network against Racism, OSEPI, OSCE/ODIHR, Fundamental Rights Agency.
Follow the event on twitter: #EURomaweek