Monday

27th Mar 2017

Focus

Sweden examines its treatment of Roma

  • (Photo: Julie70)

A White Paper on the abuses suffered by Roma people in Sweden during the 1900s will be followed up by a commission on ongoing anti-gypsyism, the Swedish government decided on Wednesday (26 March).

“This is a dark and shameful part of Swedish history," integration minister Erik Ullenhag said when presenting the paper.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The compilation of witness statements and research on the discrimination of Roma in Sweden in the last century details persecution both by the authorities as well as by individuals.

Before the 1960s, most Swedish municipalities refused Roma the right of residence. This confined them to a nomad life where they also lost the right to schooling for their children, healthcare, any welfare benefits and a state pension.

Soraya Post, running for a seat in the European Parliament for the Feminist Party, witnessed how her mother, as one of many Roma, was forced to have an abortion.

Many other Roma were sterilised by the authorities who declared them to be a “sub-standard” race.

That the discrimination is not a phenomenon of the past was demonstrated the very morning of the presentation.

One of the biggest hotels in Stockholm refused to allow Diana Nyman, who was attending Ullenhag’s presentation, to take her breakfast with the other hotel guests. She was dressed in traditional Roma clothing.

The newly-appointed government commission on Roma will look into ongoing discrimination against the ethnic minority in Sweden.

Five out of nine commission delegates are themselves Roma. It will be headed by Thomas Hammarberg, former human rights commissioner at the Council of Europe.

Roma are EU citizens too, Romanian President says

Romania's president has strongly defended freedom of movement within the EU, saying Roma have the same rights as other EU citizens and should not be misused for populist campaigns.

Record number of Roma running in Czech EU election

Despite rising animosity towards the country's minority Roma population – or perhaps precisely because of it – there is now a record number of Roma running in the Czech EU elections.

First Roma restaurant opens in Slovenia

Roma food is different. It is better. Its distinctive taste comes from slower cooking and a specific way of preparation, different kinds of herbs and, of course, love.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change