MINELRES: Fwd: Conference: "Towards a European Roma Strategy", 6 March, European Parliament
Sun Mar 9 10:14:42 2008
Original sender: Jan-Marinus Wiersma <email@example.com>
Conference: "Towards a European Roma Strategy"
Thursday 6 March, 9.30 - 17.00
European Parliament, Brussels
Speakers include: Vladimir Spidla (European Commission), Nicolae
Gheorghe (former OSCE), Valeriu Nicolae (ERGO), Gruia Bumbu (Romanian
National Agency for Roma), Dan Doghi (OSCE/ODIHR), Bernard Rorke (Roma
Participation Program, Budapest) and Andre Wilkens (OSI Brussels).
Hosted by the Socialist Group in the European Parliament.
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6 March 2008
SOCIALISTS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING ROMA'S INCLUSION
The European Parliament's Socialist Group reaffirms today, during the
conference " Towards a European Roma Strategy:From Commitment to
Results", that it's aim is a better and more effective European Roma
"This could take a variety of forms, touching several policy fields and
involving the European institutions, member states and civil society",
said Jan Marinus Wiersma, the Socialist Group's vice-president and one
of the coordinators of Roma issues.
"The title of the conference rightly indicates that the integration of
Roma requires more than EU action plan, it requires a concentrated
effort of a wide range of actors", underlined Vladimir Spidla, European
Commissioner for Social Affairs, so that "the decade of Roma Inclusion
can indeed become the broad coalition".
The conference debated a first draft of the PES Roma strategy, which
aims to identify the action areas for improving the situation of the
Roma communities and suggests useful concepts for a European Roma
strategy. Its aim is to stimulate other initiatives at European level
dealing with Roma people.
One of the main conclusions of the debates was, that, as ever, "there
remains a gap between rhetoric and substance. The political challenge is
to move beyond simply paying lip service to the notion of Roma
participation. This remains vital in order to mobilize the necessary
political will from above and below to make any tangible difference".
A delegation of the Socialists will make fact finding trips to explore
the situation of Roma communities on the ground and witness
circumstances in Roma settlements.
The strategy should be seen as part of the Group's activities related to
the "Year of Intercultural Dialogue".
The conclusions of the conference are defined by Jan Marinus Wiersma,
Socialist Group's vice-president and one of the coordinators of Roma
issues in the following video:
Moderator Adrian Severin stressed the challenges of the Roma Strategy:
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