by ERIO on June 12th, 2019

Are you Roma? Then answer our survey! It only takes 10 minutes.

The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is carrying out a survey on Roma political participation which aims to:

  • assess the involvement of Roma in politics and to what extent they are using their right to vote and stand as political candidates
  • identify barriers Roma face when trying to vote and/or stand as political candidates

The deadline to complete the survey is 30 September 2019. Please share the survey with your family, friends and colleagues. All information is anonymous.
For any information, please contact:

Complete the survey (more languages will be available soon):

by ERIO on June 7th, 2019

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has published new reports on Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia, underlining some major issues faced by the Roma community in these countries.

In Ireland, the ECRI welcomes the formal recognition of Travellers as an indigenous ethnic group. However, the Commission urges authorities to take actions against local authorities that fail to spend money allocated for providing Travellers with adequate and culturally-appropriate accomodation. In addition, the ECRI underlines that hate speech is still quite common in Ireland and not always properly adressed.
Read the full report here.

In the Netherlands, the ECRI points out that hate crime and anti-discrimination legislation doesn't provide sufficiently dissuasive sanctions and that equality bodies do not have enough resources. Moreover, political discourse is still strongly influenced by xenophobic rhetoric with large amount of hate speech. Finally, Roma continue to face low employment rates, poverty and exclusion, due notably to poor access to education.
Read the full report here.

In Romania, the ECRI expresses concerns regarding the widespread racism, hate speech and discrimination against the Roma community. Furthermore alleged cases of racial discrimination and racial profiling by the police, against Roma, are particularly worrying. Generally speaking, Roma also continue to suffer from lack of access to employment and housing.
Read the full report here.

Finally, in Slovenia, the ECRI underlines persistent high drop-out rate of Roma pupils from school as well as deplorable housing conditions. Roma inclusion relies heavily on local authorities who often times lack political will to adopt necessary measures. The ECRI also calls on Slovenian authorities to take immediate actions to ensure that all Roma have practical access to safe water supply.
Read the full report here.

by ERIO on March 21st, 2019

On 19 March, ERIO organised a conference in cooperation with the European Parliament Vice-President Lívia Járóka titled “Empowering Roma’s political participation” which took place in Brussels during the Roma Week.

The objectives of the conference were to: identify the reasons for the low level of civic and political participation of Roma, such as discrimination; identify possible solutions to improve Roma’s political and civic engagement and exchange good practices and energise Roma across Europe to vote during the European elections. Present at the conference were representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, national authorities, international organisations, ERIO network members and Roma civil society.

Key speakers included European Parliament Vice-President Lívia Járóka, MEPs Csaba Sógor and James Carver and ERIO’s Executive Director Ivan Ivanov.

Lívia Járóka (European Parliament Vice-President) raised the issue of anti-Gypsyism as a very important phenomenon that needs to be tackled. One way of doing this is by integrating the poor by taking concrete steps in education and employment. If employment is provided for everybody, it would be easier to fight anti-Gypsyism. Moreover, role models are needed for the Roma, which would help branding Roma politically and socially.

MEP Csaba Sógor noted that the Roma’s living conditions can be improved by combined social, political and economic strategies. Although measures can be taken to improve the situation of housing, employment and education of Roma, they cannot be taken to increase meaningful participation. The degree of participation varies by communities and countries. Roma are largely invisible in decision making and mainstream parties should speak up on behalf of the Roma.

MEP James Carver was the first British Roma to be elected for the European Parliament. Even as a Eurosceptic, he is proud of his family roots. He went on to say that many Roma, just like every part of society, have different political views. “We have MEPs representing 4 different political groups. We should recognise that Roma have different perspectives.” According to him, racial discrimination against Roma is the last form of acceptable racism and the way we can fight it is through political participation and by letting mainstream society understand how important the Roma vote is.

Ivan Ivanov (ERIO Executive Director) observed that it is not enough to discuss the serious social problems and anti-Gypsyism Roma face only during the few days of the European Roma Platform and the Roma Week. This is a common European problem of the most deprived and disadvantaged Europeans. This is why Europe should talk, strategize and take actions all the time. The past ten years focused on different policies at EU and national level but Roma’s active and equal participation in political processes was not given much attention. This is why ERIO is putting the question   of political participation in the discussion table as way to eliminate anti-Gypsyism and empower Roma who are too dependent on the political will of non-Roma  politicians not interested to improve the Roma rights situation. In today’s political environment, it is no longer an option for politicians and policy makers to ignore the rising anti-Gypsyism. It is no longer an option for Roma to wait for decision-makers where they are not represented to solve their problem. Roma should use their basic right to vote and be elected, a right given by the state constitutions they live in and international human rights law.

Event mini-site:

by ERIO on October 2nd, 2018

​The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is launching a survey designed for Roma who have suffered discrimination or have witnessed a case of discrimination against a Roma person.
We want to hear about Roma’s experiences of discrimination in Europe, so we can improve their rights and living conditions.
This survey is for research purposes. All information is anonymous. Deadline: 12/11/2018
The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. For any information about this survey, please contact:
ERIO is an organisation that works to stop discrimination against Roma across Europe.   

​Complete the survey (more languages will be available soon):

by ERIO on May 15th, 2018

On December 15 and 16, 2017, ERIO organized an advocacy training in Rome, Italy. The training gathered together young Roma activists from all over Italy. The aim of this training was to build capacity and skills among young people. Among the skills taught were the ability to advocate for their rights and equal treatment; have their voice heard on matters linked to their integration; be able to defend their basic rights and participate in consultations with decision-makers on the design and implementation of policies concerning their equal access to different fields in society.

Another objective of the training was to prepare young Roma to cooperate with other civil society organizations as well as local authorities and policy makers in the design and implementation of Roma related policies and programs. Roma will therefore be able to actively participate in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and of the Council’s recommendations. At a local level, the training will also empower Roma in anti-discrimination and social inclusion policies. How to develop efficient advocacy strategy to communicate with the proper institutions is key in the empowerment of young Roma.

The advocacy strategy developed by ERIO unfold in 9 key steps and advocacy principles:
  • Identify the advocacy scope (European, national or local)
  • Identify the issue or initiative
  • Identify audience
  • Target arenas of influence
  • Develop key messages
  • Take action
  • Work with media
  • Fundraising
  • Evaluation of the advocacy campaign 
 The training also focused on the EU anti-discrimination legislation such as the Race Equality Directive and the Framework Directive including practical tools on how to identify indirect discrimination and file complaint to the responsible bodies. A special session was dedicated to the access and management of EU funded projects.

The knowledge and skills received by ERIO network members enabled them to assist Equality bodies to register discrimination cases within the Roma communities, to assist local authorities to overcome barriers making the implementation of the NRIS less effective as well as to assist community members who are victims of discrimination to contact anti-discrimination institutions.

A printable version of this article is available here.

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