Wednesday

1st Mar 2017

EU failing on Roma rights

  • Roma children face a daunting future in Europe (Photo: Council of Europe)

EU and member states are failing to help Roma communities, with some 80 percent still facing the risk of poverty.

A report on Tuesday (29 November) by the Vienna-based Agency for Fundamental Rights reveals one in three live in households with no tap water, while one in ten has no electricity.

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 figures reveal the failure of repeated integration goals, from the EU commission in 2011 and EU states in 2013.

Agency director Michael O’Flaherty, in a statement, described the deprivation and discrimination against the Roma as a "grave failure of law and policy in the EU and its member states."

"Our manifest inability in Europe to honour the human rights of our Roma communities is unacceptable," he said.

The report surveyed some 25,000 people across all EU states. Of those, almost 8,000 were Roma, Europe's largest minority group.

The face-to-face interviews reveal national and EU-led efforts to increase employment, education, housing and healthcare have a long way to go.

Almost the entire Roma population in Spain, 98 percent, have an income below the national poverty threshold, followed by Greece at 96 percent and Croatia with 93 percent.

And at least a quarter of those interviewed said someone in their household had gone to bed hungry in the past month.

The report notes that the 2013 EU goal to reduce poverty through social investment "is far from being reached".

2013 commission guidelines to address Roma child poverty and social exclusion have also failed to achieve results.

Few Roma children attend pre-school or kindergarten in Greece and Slovakia. Those between 7 to 15 also have restricted access to education, when compared to non-Roma and just under half of those between 15 to 18 don't attend any school at all.

Most Roma in Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria find themselves in segregated schools, despite laws which make it illegal.

One in ten Roma children living in Greece and Romania are working instead of going to school.

The report notes that the vast majority of Roma still have no idea about state structures set up to help them deal with discrimination.

Yet the results are still marginally better when compared to a similar survey carried out in 2012 by the agency in 11 EU states, which revealed that 90 percent of those interviewed were at risk of poverty.

Germany seeks to harden EU border checks

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said internal EU border controls should be imposed on security as well as immigrations grounds, shifting their legal basis.

Analysis

Why Romania erupted in protest

Current anger over corruption laws can be traced back to a night-club fire in 2015, when many died because of lax safety standards. Romanians then realised that corruption can kill.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 20172018 European Year of Cultural Heritage Will Celebrate European History and Values
  2. UNICEFA Deadly Journey for Children: The Migration Route From North Africa to Europe
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan
  4. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  5. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  6. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  7. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  8. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  9. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  10. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow. Join Us on 23 March
  12. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen