MEPs adopt a resolution on Roma calling for more action to improve their living conditions

MEPs adopt a resolution on Roma calling for more action to improve their living conditions

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday (5 October) recognizing the plight of Roma living in settlements across the European Union and the need to change national policies to improve the lives of these communities.

The resolution calls on Member States to ensure that EU funds are used effectively to support Roma communities settled in settlements and to further integrate the Roma population into their societies.

Many Roma – Europe’s largest ethnic minority – live in impoverished settlements that lack widespread access to clean running water, electricity and functioning sanitation systems. As several MPs pointed out in their speeches on Tuesday (October 4), some camps do not even have paved roads.

High unemployment rates, early school leaving and infant mortality in the settlements are among the main problems that Slovak Liberal MP Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová and others attribute to segregation and a lack of political will to address them.

«This policy of exclusion has produced a whole generation of people without basic education who are dependent on state aid and cannot find employment on the labor market.said Ms. Ďuriš Nicholsonová. In particular, it alludes to the Slovak government’s policy of enrolling Roma children in schools.”Specialwhom she says often lack the resources needed to help students succeed.

Several EU policies, including the European Structural Investment Fund and the European Social Fund Plus, provide resources to Member States to support efforts to address these issues.

But according to Ms Ďuriš Nicholsonová, many national governments, including in Slovakia, choose instead to spend the funds elsewhere or reject them altogether.

«Under previous Slovak governments, European funds have helped these marginalized Roma communities, for example to help the long-term unemployed [à] Refresher courses have been redirected“, She said.

«A lot of European money has been distributed but unfortunately it has brought very little added value to these Roma communities […] When it comes to European funds, Slovakia has one of the lowest implementation rates: around 70% of the money is not spent“, she added.

The resolution adopted on Wednesday only calls on member states to improve their practices on Roma integration and advancement. Some members believe that this measure is not enough to achieve the changes Parliament wants.

«It sends a message, a clear message, that just telling Member States to do something is not the right way to gosaid Dragoş Pîslaru, a Romanian liberal.

According to him, the commission should continue its efforts in the area of ​​infringement and direct liability of mayors and state officials.

«The other aspect concerns the investment“, he added. “It is an investment in the future of Europe. So we have to give Roma a chance and break the vicious circle.»

Spanish Socialist MEP Estrella Durá Ferrandis called for the creation of a “Tool to ensure that there is no misuse of European funds for Roma community camps».

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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