Because there is a close connection between the Roma and the EU, why then pro-European candidates do not publicly contact the Roma electorate a few weeks before the European Parliament elections? At the end of the days in France and Spain there are half a million Roma. In Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, Roma are between 5 and 10% of the total population in those countries. The parties need to find inspiration following the example in Slovakia.
There, young, liberal and pro-European oriented candidate Zuzana Chaputova won the presidential election last year. Attracting Romani voices was part of her strategy. After each victory in the election cycle, he thanked the Roma electorate and turned it into Romani language. It was a really daring and courageous step in the moment when candidates rarely try to give support to Roma for fear of losing their votes with the majority of voters.
More importantly, Chaputova recognized that the Roma electorate and candidates played an important role in her electoral victory. In the local elections in Slovakia in 2018, about 40 Roma mayors and more than 400 municipal councilors were elected. Their alliance against right-wing parties contributed to the defeat of Marian Kotleba, a political leader who is known for promoting violence against Roma in the first round of presidential elections in Slovakia, as was the case in the regional elections two years ago.
In some European countries there is growing interest in the electoral potential of Roma. In Spain, for example, four big political parties from the leftist Podemos to the conservative Gudadanos put Roma candidates in their lists in response to the electoral success of the far-right Vox party.