MINELRES: Roma Rights 1, 2009: Economics, Extremism and Roma Rights: A Dangerous Linkage

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Mon Aug 3 18:51:42 2009

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

Roma Rights 1, 2009 Economics, Extremism and Roma Rights: A Dangerous
For some time now, extremism has been visible in several European
countries. Political parties espousing an explicit anti-immigrant,
anti-Romani and/or anti-Semitic agenda are gaining electoral success and
support from the public. The June 2009 European Parliament elections
exemplified this tendency: In several countries, extremist political
parties achieved unprecedented success and now enjoy increased political

Furthermore, violent attacks targeting Romani communities have
intensified in some countries since the beginning of 2008. In Hungary,
more than 23 violent attacks have been recorded claiming eight lives. In
the Czech Republic and Italy, pogrom attempts have been witnessed. The
increasing problems of Roma are not limited to these countries, however.
What we observe across Europe is an increase in anti-Romani sentiments,
often expressed violently. 

Many attempts have been made to establish a connection between the rise
of extremism and the global economic crisis. According to this argument,
the global economic crisis has (at least in part) triggered extremism. 

This issue of Roma Rights addresses the increasing number of violent
attacks on Romani communities to examine whether this tendency is linked
with the economic downturn. All authors in this issue suggest that
extremism is not linked explicitly to the economic crisis. 

This point is crystallised in the editorial, where Rob Kushen writes,
“Despite these alarming developments, it would be simplistic and
factually wrong to attribute the rise of extremism solely or even
substantially to the global economic crisis. The seeds of extremism in
Eastern Europe can be found in populist politics, which came to the fore
during a time of economic prosperity, not economic crisis.” This general
thesis is shared by the authors of country-specific articles. Gwendolyn
Albert firmly establishes that anti-Romani activities in the Czech
Republic were prevalent during the economic boom and Stanislav Daniel
illustrates the same in Slovakia. Similarly, Jeno Kaltenbach and
Catherine Twigg’s article on the situation in Hungary also traces the
roots of anti-Romani sentiment to prior to the current crisis. 

Andrzej Mirga and Bernard Rorke provide an overview of the situation in
Europe. Mr Mirga points out that although the economic crisis affects
almost all of Europe, anti-Romani violence is only on the rise in some
countries; thus we cannot establish an organic linkage between the two.
Mr Rorke also considers Roma rights violations within a broader context
of increasing populism, anti-immigrant sentiment and hostility to
liberal democracy evident in much of Europe. 


- Economics, Extremism and Roma Rights: A Dangerous Linkage (Rob
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/0F/m0000040F.pdf


- The Extreme Right and Roma and Sinti in Europe: A New Phase in the Use
of Hate Speech and Violence? (Andrzej Mirga)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/10/m00000410.pdf

- Nationalist Pride and Popular Prejudice (Bernard Rorke)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/11/m00000411.pdf

- Spoken Today, Committed Tomorrow (Jeno Kaltenbach and Catherine Twigg) 
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/12/m00000412.pdf

- Hatred is the Cheapest Fuel: Political Power, Not Economics, is Behind
Rising Czech Nationalism (Gwendolyn Albert) 
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/13/m00000413.pdf

- Tolerance to Racism in Slovakia (Stanislav Daniel) 
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/14/m00000414.pdf

- The Economic Crisis Closes in on Bulgarian Roma (Kamelia Dimitrova)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/15/m00000415.pdf


- ERRC Interview with Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union
Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) 
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/16/m00000416.pdf


- Requiem for Sulukule (Sinan Gokcen)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/17/m00000417.pdf

- Hard Times and Hardening Attitudes: The Economic Downturn and the Rise
of Violence Against Roma (Stanislav Daniel)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/18/m00000418.pdf

- Anti-discrimination Advocacy Campaign in the Western Balkans (Idaver
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/19/m00000419.pdf

Human Rights Education 

- ERRC Human Rights Capacitation Workshops  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/1A/m0000041A.pdf

Legal Defense 

- Access to Health Care in Bulgaria: Marginalisation of Roma (Victoria
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/1B/m0000041B.pdf

Meet the ERRC 

- Note from the Managing Director (Rob Kushen)  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/1C/m0000041C.pdf

Romani Language Publication 

- Haljovipe e Kanunesko/Zakonesko/ Vash Kriminalno Kerdino Kotar
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/1D/m0000041D.pdf


View it: http://www.errc.org/db/04/1E/m0000041E.pdf


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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