(09 April 2013) –Marking International Roma Day, the European Commission urged member countries yesterday to ensure that NGOs representing Roma are involved in the planning and use of EU funds for integration into society.
Five commissioners issued a joint statement to mark International Roma Day, established in 1990 at the fourth World Romani Congress in Warsaw. Viviane Reding (in charge of justice), László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Johannes Hahn (Regional Policy) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) accused member countries for failing to deliver on agreed policies for the Roma.
“The negotiations on EU Funds for the period 2014-2020 will be decisive. It is crucial to ensure that national Roma contact points, Roma NGOs and experts are involved in the planning as early as possible,” the Commissioners said.
World Bank research shows that full Roma integration could bring around €500 million a year to the economies of some European countries by improving productivity, cutting welfare bills and boosting tax receipts, the commissioners argued. “Roma integration thus must not be seen as a cost, but as a social investment,” the commissioners said in a statement. (With EurActiv)