The IRU succeeded in Finland

On September 30, IRU President Zoran Dimov sent a letter to Helsinki. International Romani Union - IRU sent a letter to Deputy Mayor Sanna Vesikansa and Director of Family and Social Services Maarit Sulavuori and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. President Dimov called attention to the accommodation of Romanian and Bulgarian mobile Roma in Helsinki.

In his letter, Mr. Dimov thanked Finland and especially Helsinki for their meritorious work for the benefit of the Roma. The situation of the Roma in Finland is one of the best in the world globally, but there is still room for improvement, especially at the attitude level, as the Equality Ombudsman's annual report 2019 shows. For years, the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Deaconess Institute have done exemplary work for the benefit of the Roma, a mobile population from Romania and Bulgaria. The City of Helsinki has arranged emergency accommodation during the winter from 1 October to 30 April and acute health care. In addition, during the Covid-19, there has also been emergency accommodation and hot food once a day in the summer of 2020.

Acute emergency of mobile Roma

In September, Mr. Dimov received acute feedback that a large proportion of Europe's mobile Roma spend the night in Helsinki outdoors in the woods. With the onset of winter, it is needed to quickly get emergency accommodation for the mobile population to continue all year round and also a hot meal every day. President Dimov stated that the City of Helsinki should continue to cooperate with the Deaconess Institute, as they have skilled and experienced employees (the Hirundo project) who are able to help the Roma population on a daily basis.

In his letter, the President of the IRU also stated that the IRU is committed to making efforts and finding ways to improve the socio-economic status of mobile Roma and to activate everyone to participate in education and the wage labor market so that they can earn their own and their families' livelihood.

In her letter, Zoran Dimov stated that Finland, as an EU member state, should contact the origin countries of mobile Roma (Bulgaria and Romania) and direct them to allocate the funds they receive from the EU budget for Roma integration to reduce the number of mobile Roma, also Finland. The IRU is involved in supporting Roma integration.

President Dimov expressed the hope that the City of Helsinki would quickly provide emergency accommodation for mobile Roma throughout the year.

The City of Helsinki's answer

The City of Helsinki's reply letter came quickly at the beginning of October. The letter stated that the city will continue its cooperation
with the Helsinki Deaconess Institute also in this matter of the mobile Roma population, and the city recognizes the know-how of the Deaconess Institute's Hirundo project.

The City of Helsinki replied that emergency accommodation places for the mobile population had been added right from the beginning of October. Arranging year-round emergency accommodation is also kept in mind.

Answer from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Yesterday, October 23, IRU President Zoran Dimov received a reply letter from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The letter states that the issue raised by the IRU is very important and topical, and the City of Helsinki is responsible for the emergency accommodation of the mobile population in Helsinki, and the IRU has sent the letter to the right party.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it promotes the status of the Roma and related human rights issues in various multilateral contexts, e.g. In the EU, the Council of Europe and the UN, and bilaterally with Bulgaria and Romania. The Finnish Embassies in Bulgaria and Romania also promote, on various multilateral contacts, raising awareness of the rights of Roma communities and the importance of integration in co-operation with the authorities and NGO Actors in these countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Promises to continue this work.

The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs thanks the IRU

At the end of his reply, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanks the IRU for the important work that the IRU is doing to promote the status of the Roma minority in the long and short term.


The IRU congratulates the United Nations

UN Day is on October 24, 2020. The International Romani Union - IRU expresses its congratulations to the UN on its 75th anniversary. The IRU sends its congratulations to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Mr. Paulo David, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights!

In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday. In 1971 the IRU was established too.

Today is UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. There is no other global organization with the legitimacy, convening power and normative impact of the United Nations.

This anniversary comes in a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by a global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with severe economic and social impacts. But it could be also a reminder that this time should be a new opportunity for positive change.

The IRU has its own Ecosoc status in the United Nations. The IRU has a global network and strategy for realizing ICESCR rights. Currently, we need Roma Friendship Groups at every level in order to implement, together with other national, regional and international actors, Roma rights globally. Together we are strong.

IRU President ZoranDimov asks: “How much do international institutions believe in the capacities of Roma organizations?

In one of his views and opinions regarding the cooperation with institutions of international character, the President of the IRU Mr. ZoranDimov expresses his disappointment with these institutions and also with certain organizations that deal with solving the Roma problem and creating policies. related to the Roma community.

He says: "I want to express my opinions and views first personally as a person, and then as President of the International Roma Union = IRU.

Many times so far, the IRU has shown its interest in cooperating with all international institutions and organizations when it comes to the status of the Roma community in all fields. Many times the IRU, through its membership, has extended a hand of cooperation.

The views of the IRU have always been with open dialogue and constructive debate to find the most favorable solutions to all possible problems and inconsistencies. I must also express my gratitude to most of the international actors who selflessly gave us their support and cooperation at the highest level.

But unfortunately, many times we have encountered misunderstandings, with a dose of distrust of our organization by a small number of international institutions, and at the same time by some "concerned about the situation of the Roma" organizations who still want to work on their own. , without looking at reality.

It is very symptomatic that some of them are seen as "organization above all organizations" and non-transparently play the role of "Roma Leaders".

It only brings regression, and instead of progress in the process for a better tomorrow for all of us!

Unfortunately, there are such people in the highest institutions of the European Union, such as the European Parliament, the EC, the Council of Europe and the like.

By abusing the trust of the people, they try to make some "individual step" instead of common interest, and thus play on "self-promotion". We must conclude that such activism will never bear fruit and be productive.

A classic example is the current situation with the KOVID 19 pandemic and the Statement proposed by the IRU to the European Parliament for a Minimum Investmentin the places where Roma live. Knowing the general condition of that community (infrastructural, economic, social ..), the question is: HOW LONG IS ITS IMPLEMENTATION AND IN WHAT WILL IT BE IMPLEMENTED?

Above all, my intention is to try to be all equal, to develop pluralism, trust and respect for other opinions and views.

In fact, with hypocritical and dirty games behind our backs, our position will only go backwards and will not bring anything good to all of us. That is the harsh reality primarily because the IRU, and I as its president, are honest, open, self-critical and above all transparent to all those who will give us a hand for cooperation.

Only in this way will we be able to see the reality "with open eyes" and see the disadvantages and everything that hinders our progress, - said in the conclusion by the President of the IRU ZoranDimov

The IRU held its regular parliamentary session on 9 October. Adopted the IRU Action Plan 2020-2024

On Friday, October 9, through the ZOOM platform for Video Conference and participation of over 60 delegates from 45 countries, held its regular autumn Parliamentary session of the IRU.

The President of the IRU Zoran Dimov, the President of the IRU Parliament Rosita Gronfors and members of the Cabinet of the IRU had their introduction at the Parliamentary session.

At the same time, all present delegates had their own reports on the situation with the Roma in the countries and regions where they come from. The aspect of the reports was from all fields where the situation of the Roma community in the societies where they live was predominant, and is closely related to the Corona pandemic. At the same time, part of the implementation of the National Strategies related to the Roma in their home countries was presented. In that context, the IRU delegates adopted the IRU Action Plan for 2020-2024 prepared by the IRU and which will be submitted to all relevant international institutions (UN, EU, EC, CoE and others).

In parallel with those activities, the planned activity of the IRU will be implemented through its members and delegates wherever there are Roma (EU and other important regions and countries) with its new initiative entitled "Friendship hand from the IRU to all relevant factors".

There were other topics of discussions and talks, as well as tasks that will have to be realized in the next period, which in addition to the above mentioned one of the activities is the celebration of 50 years of the First Roma Congress and founder of the IRU (1971-2021). A solemn act with the participation of senior and relevant officials from international politics, the civil sector and Roma activism.

On August 31, at the Cinematheque of Macedonia - premiere of the documentary "Sky - Wheel - Earth

One important question?

They are by your side and those around you, but how well do you really know the Roma?

How much do you know about their rich and long history, tradition, culture, language?

Was their life as cheerful as their music, or was it as heavy, sad and dark as their complexion?

Why is the word "Gypsy" offensive? Why do they struggle to be named with the terminology - ROM?

Did you know that on Christopher Columbus's fourth voyage of discovery on American soil, four Spanish Roma were in the crew, one of whom was the first to see American soil.

Meet the most famous Roma Scientists - Nobel laureates, presidents, actors - Oscar winners, athletes ... (Danish Nobel laureate in medicine August Krog, painter Pablo Picasso, composer and violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, actors Charlie Chaplin Maire. Kane, Jul Briner, Ava Gardner, Natalie Wood, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, footballers Nesta, Pirlo, the late Jose Antonio Reyes and many more)

We would like to inform you that on August 31, 2020 - Monday at 8 pm in the Cinematheque of Macedonia will be held the Premiere of the new Documentary film "Sky - Wheel - Earth" Produced by SP BTR and co-produced by Studio 7.

Letter of thanks to the IRU and its President ZoranDimov to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

On 20 April 2020, the IRU presented an initiative to the European Commission highlighting the urgent need for European Roma to have access to health services due to Covid-19, an adequate minimum income, a catastrophic educational situation and a need for EU financial support to Roma associations. We have also proposed the creation of a Roma Ombudsman's office due to increased anti-gypsyism. The European Roma expects positive action and resources for housing, education, employment and health care. The goal is to realize the economic, social and cultural rights of the Roma (ICESCR). The great wall is that the European Roma suffer discrimination, hate speech, segregation, intolerance, violence and, at worst, genocide.

President ZoranDimov and the International Romani Union The IRU would like to thank you for your speech on 16 September 2020 in the European Parliament. You made several worthwhile suggestions:

Member States would introduce a minimum wage.

NextGenerationEU is a good proposal to take digitalizationto every village. It is good that you are ensuring that the EU budget and NextGenerationEU money are protected from all forms of fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest.

The IRU would like to add that the Roma should also have access to IT technology (and electricity) as well as IT skills.


The EC will shortly present the Economic Recovery Package for the Western Balkans and the accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia will continue.

The IRU would like to add that the situation of the Roma in the Western Balkans is particularly difficult and that part of the stimulus package must target to Balkan Roma people as well.


The Commission's first-ever anti-racism Coordinator to work directly with people, civil society and institutions.


The IRU warmly supports your policy in this and offers to work together to create a coordinator job description and we intend to work closely with the anti-racist coordinator.

The IRU like to welcome that you highlighted the marginalized position of the European Roma in a very humanistic way. The IRU is in favor of extending the EU list of crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech. The IRU welcomes the fact that the EC budget will be used to combat discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and health.


The IRU offers its expertise to the EC in all Roma matters.


Sincerely yours




International Romani Union – IRU

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