“Nothing has changed for the poorest. Lack of political will and commitment, the ineffective use of funds and widespread discrimination and antigypsyism are to blame”, said MEP Peter Pollak, EPP Group Spokesman for Roma inclusion and ARDI Vice-Chair.
The EPP Group calls for a fresh start of Roma integration policies in Europe and presents a new policy paper that proposes measures such as better access to education, drinking water and sanitary services for Roma, better enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws, awareness-raising among non-Roma population, targeted measures for Roma women and girls as well as incentives for local businesses to hire Roma.
The EPP Group was the first to propose a unified EU Roma strategy and now points out the failure of its implementation. “There are still Roma communities where EU citizens drink water from streams, have no sewage systems and grow up without proper education. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener. Roma people in their overcrowded homes simply cannot comply with necessary distancing and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic”, Pollák explained.