On 29 March 2017 the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a revised “Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society” which in particular mentions anti-Gypsyism.
From the resolution:
1. The Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society is a document drawn up under the auspices of the European Union Consultative Commission on Racism and Xenophobia opened for signature on 28 February in Utrecht 1998. Taking inspiration from the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination opened for signature in 1965, it rejects all forms of racist violence, incitement to racial hatred and harassment and any form of racial discrimination.
2. Endorsed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in September 2003 and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in March 2004, this Charter, which was originally applicable in the European Union has, since then, become one of the reference texts that different Council of Europe bodies have relied on when discussing Roma issues.
4. In January 2017, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for Roma Issues, Valeriu Nicolae, addressed a revised version of the Charter to the Congress, for adoption, together with a declaration to be signed by mayors individually committing themselves to its implementation. This request was triggered by his concerns regarding the need to bring the Charter up to date, on the one hand because some Eastern European countries had not been targeted for signature as they became members after 2003 and, on the other hand, because political developments related to increased migration and concepts such as anti-Gypsyism as well as other manifestations of racism were not reflected therein.
5. The Congress and the SRSG for Roma Issues have been involved in joint projects previously, particularly in the context of the “European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers”, which was set up in 2014 to promote action for Roma and Travellers3 at the local level. The Congress Spokesperson on Roma Issues is persuaded that an updated version of the Charter can assist local authorities in their fight against anti-Gypsyism and that the signature of a declaration of commitment would give a much needed new impetus to their action.
6. In the light of the above, the Congress invites the local authorities of Council of Europe member States to:
a. endorse the Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society in its revised version ;
b. circulate the Charter as widely as possible and promote it as a text of principles that can guide the action of local authorities in their campaigns and activities;
c. tasks its Current Affairs Committee to follow up with appropriate action supporting the Charter’s promotion.