Dear President Tajani,
We are writing to you as fellow Members of the European Parliament to call for disciplinary measures against Mara Bizzotto MEP, Angelo Ciocca MEP, and Tim Aker MEP, for their speeches in the plenary debate on anti-Gypsyism on 6th April.
Mara Bizotto (ENF), Angelo Ciocca (ENF) and Tim Aker (EFDD) used racist and discriminatory language during the plenary debate which marked International Roma Day, a day which Roma people, the biggest ethnic minority within the European Union, celebrate their culture and raise awareness of the crimes perpetrated against them during the Third Reich and in recent history.
Ms Bizzotto accused Roma of not wanting to integrate and suggested the EU money spent on Roma inclusion was therefore wasted. She furthermore stated that this money should instead be spent on “our citizens, our unemployed, our poor families,” clearly differentiating Roma citizens of Europe from majority society citizens, and called for a day “commemorating our own citizens who suffer constantly from the problems caused by Roma.”
Mr Ciocca called the debate on Roma issues a discussion on “fake victims” and suggested that EU funding is spent on “expensive cars” driven by Roma, clearly implying that Roma are criminals.
Their speeches clearly constitute anti-Gypsyism and are unacceptable behaviour for Members of the European Parliament.
Mr Aker inappropriately used the debate to publicly degrade EU citizens from Eastern European Member States – among them Roma migrants – who exercise their freedom of movement.
Therefore, we would urge you to take immediate action against Ms Bizzotto, Mr Ciocca and Mr Aker. Such behavior should not be tolerated and should be sanctioned.
Racism and anti-Gypsyism are direct violations of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. It is imperative that all of us fight intolerance and we hope you take action.
We look forward to receiving your reply and how you will take action.
Co-President of ARDI