European Roma Summit (Brussels, 16/09/08): extracts from the joint press conference by Vladimír Špidla, Georges Soros and Christine Boutin
As the European Commission today launched the EU-level summit devoted to improve the situation of Roma communities across the Union, Vladimír Špidla, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, told journalists that ethnic discrimination and profiling in the EU were unacceptable.
He said at the press conference that it's necessary to take all the measures to protect people and their data, referring to Italy’s controversial new immigration policies, which include the fingerprinting of Roma people living in squalid conditions in camps.
Christine Boutin, French Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and President in office of the Council, told the press that this Italian issue, while being of national competence, showed the necessity of improving coordination amongst EU Member States.
George Soros, Chairman of the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Network, said also that fingerprinting and racial profiling are unacceptable and illegal. He hopes that the Court of Justice of the EC will take up the case and declare it illegal.