Brussels, 17 September – The European Roma Policy Coalition (ERPC) expresses its disappointment that at yesterday’s European Council a decision on a concrete strategy has been postponed until next month. It is important that heads of government should take a firm and united stand against policies which deliberately stigmatize and discriminate against Roma.
The ERPC endorses Commissioner Reding’s and President Barroso’s position on the Commission’s right and duty to watch over compliance with EU law. In this regard, the ERPC expects EU member states to demonstrate their respect for the role of the European Commission as guardian of the EU Treaties and their core values.
Furthermore, the ERPC expects the European Commission to move swiftly to finalize its investigation on France’s actions in light of potential infringement proceedings.
The ERPC believes that the leaders of Europe should adopt a clear and comprehensive human rights based European framework strategy for Roma inclusion.
ERPC calls on France to immediately stop the expulsion of EU citizens, to ensure that the human rights of all are respected, to implement its own legislation relating to the provision of camping sites on French territory and to refrain from making any further inflammatory statements stigmatizing Roma communities.
The European Roma Policy Coalition is an informal gathering of non-governmental organisations operating at EU level on issues of human rights, anti-discrimination, anti-racism, social inclusion, and Roma and Travellers’ rights. Its members are Amnesty International, the European Roma Rights Centre, the European Roma Information Office, the Open Society Institute, the European Network Against Racism, Spolu International Foundation, Minority Rights Group International, the European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network, Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, the Roma Education Fund, and Fundaciòn Secretariado Gitano.