European Parliament recognizes Antigypsyism and Roma Genocide

EP-squareApril 15, 2015 marked a historical moment. The European Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority to finally adopt a resolution which recognizes “the historical fact of the genocide of Roma that took place during World War II” and concludes “that a European day should be dedicated to commemorating the victims of the genocide of the Roma during World War II.” Of huge importance is the fact that this resolution also “underlines the need to combat anti-Gypsyism at every level and by every means, and stresses that this phenomenon is an especially persistent, violent, recurrent and commonplace form of racism.”

The European Parliament affirms in this resolution that ‘‘2 August has been chosen by Roma organisations as the day to commemorate all Roma victims of this genocide’’ and that the recognition “would thus constitute an important symbolic step in the fight against anti-Gypsyism and contribute to general knowledge of Roma history in Europe.”

The MEPs express in the resolution their deep concern at the rise of anti-Gypsyism, as manifested through anti-Roma rhetoric and violent attacks against Roma in Europe, including murders. Roma MEP Damian Draghici, Romanian member of the S&D group, declared that legal means are not sufficient to counter trends and to counter discrimination. He states, “More needs to be done. Anti-Gypsyism, as Commissioner Jourová said […] is one of the most acute problems facing Europe today. It has for far too long been a widely-accepted policy at state stakeholders’ level, and this has to stop.” Roma MEP Soraya Post , a Swedish member of the S&D group, said the framework on Roma integration had been dominated by social policy and lacked an approach to racism against Roma people: “[This type of racism] exists in all member states and goes through all levels of society. Before dealing with anti-gypsyism, actions in other policy areas will not succeed to change the situation of the Roma in the EU.”

The text of the draft resolution is available >> online.

Debates on March 25, 2015 can be viewed (text and video) >> online.

Video of the Voting of the resolution