International Roma Day: Commissioner Hahn calls for decisive action to help Europe's largest minority
On International Roma Day, Johannes Hahn has joined with fellow Commissioners to stress the need for further efforts by Member States to fight discrimination against around 12 million Roma people in Europe and to improve their access to employment, education and healthcare.
In a joint statement with Vice-President Viviane Reding (EU Justice Commissioner) and László Andor (Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Commissioner Hahn said: ' Roma integration cannot be left to Sunday speeches that are not followed up come Monday morning. What we need is a genuine political commitment from the Member States to implement national strategies. The drafting of national strategies was certainly a good start but we still need more to make changes happen.'
He added 'Regional Policy is playing its part to help Roma people into jobs and training'
EU Structural Funds have been used, alongside national budgets, to boost efforts in the socio-economic inclusion of Roma communities. But more needs to be done to ensure that the investment directly benefits Roma people. The Commission therefore urges the national Roma contact points to be closely involved in the planning of future investment programmes. For 2014-2020, the Commission has proposed a specific investment priority to be devoted to the integration of marginalised communities, such as Roma, and a requirement that an appropriate Roma inclusion strategy is in place, where EU funds are spent for this purpose.
For full details of the statement see here