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08/04/2010 - 09/04/2010

Second Roma summit

Second Roma summit

The second European Summit on Roma inclusion took place in Córdoba (Spain), on the 8th and 9th April 2010, on the occasion of the International Roma Day, as a key event of the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

Approximately 400 representatives of EU institutions, national governments, regional and local public authorities and civil society (including Roma organisations), took part in the Summit.

European Commission Vice-President Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship) and Commissioner Andor (Employment, social affairs and inclusion), were among the speakers, hosted by the Spanish Ministers for health and social policy, Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera, and for equality, Bibiana Aido Almagro. They were joined by several Ministers and Secretary of states (from Belgium, France, Finland, Hungary, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, etc.). Lívia Járóka, Member of European Parliament, also took part in the event, together with a number of other MEPs. Other key speakers included George Soros, Chair of the Soros Foundation, and World Bank Director Theodore Ahlers. Finally, the direct involvement of Roma organisations and representatives was a key feature of the event.

Both Vice-president Reding's and Commissioner Andor's speeches were warmly welcomed by the other key players. It was highlighted that, although a lot remains to be done in particular at the local level, significant progress has been achieved since 2008. The Commission had provided strong political leadership and Member States had invested in internal policy coordination, strategic planning and dialogue with Roma communities. Vice-president Reding stressed the need to put a specific focus on improving the situation of Roma children.

As main inputs from the Commission to the Summit, at the EU level, two very important and far-reaching policy documents were released on 7th April 2010:

The first day of the Summit, 8 April is the International Roma day (celebrated since 1971). This symbolic timing, chosen by the Spanish presidency, acknowledged that Roma are an integral part of the history and civilisation of Europe. An award-giving ceremony dedicated to Roma culture and traditional Roma celebrations also took place on the afternoon of the first day of the Summit.

The aim of the Summit was to take stock of the achievements undertaken at EU level for Roma inclusion, over the past two years, and to renew the commitments. Within the recent developments at EU level, the Summit placed a particular focus on the 10 Common Basic Principles for Roma inclusion. On 8 June 2009, the Council of Ministers in charge of Social affairs in the EU Member States, annexed the Principles to their conclusions and invited Member States and the Commission to take them into account when they design, implement and evaluate policies. At the second European Roma Summit, four workshops ran in parallel in order to debate on the principles of "explicit but not exclusive targeting", "awareness of the gender dimension", "use of community instruments" and "involvement of civil society".

Another particular attention was paid to the cunning issue of Roma health, to which a plenary discussion was fully dedicated on the second day of the Summit. Roma health is one of the most important issues for Roma inclusion, and a priority of the Spanish Presidency.

The Trio of the Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies adopted a declaration at the end of the Summit which highlighted the joint commitment for the mainstreaming of Roma issues into all relevant policies, a roadmap for the actions of the European Platform for Roma inclusion, the effective use of the EU Structural Funds to this end and the follow up of the Summit in Council.

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  • City: Cordoba (Spain)