IRU's reaction to the discussion on "Does the EU need Roma to recover" organized by Clara Dobrev, Vice President of the European Parliament on Monday 25 May.
"Nothing about us without us"
IRU as the oldest and largest Roma organization represented by its about 100 Roma delegates and members from over 70 countries, reacts to European institutions (EP, EC, SE, etc.) sends its views and reaction, on the occasion of the FB discussion discussion on "Is the EU and need Roma to recover "organized by Zeljko Jovanovic, Open Society Foundation and Clara Dobrev, Vice President of the European Parliament, attended by senior officials from European institutions such as David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, Michael Roth, Secretary of State for Europe - Germany, Sabine Verheyen, MEP, European People's Party, Petrica Dulgheru, Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, Dragos Pislaru, MEP, Renew Europe, Heidi Hautala, MEP, Green Party and Vera Jourova, Vice-President of European Commission.
What surprises us in the IRU and we are deeply disappointed is that first and foremost among those invited there is not a single EU parliamentary representative of Roma and Sinti.
To all discuss, preparation and planning work during this Covid-19 crisis which closely related to the title of the topic "Does the EU Need Roma to Recover" it is absolutely necessary to involve Roma representatives when discussing economic, social and cultural rights of Roma, especially when discussing about Roma funds.
Today's opportunity was primarily a major underestimation of the capacity of the three EU parliamentarians from the Roma community - Lívia Járóka, Petar Pollak and Romeo Franz.
According to the information received, the IRU has learned that the priority of the debate will be a 1.2 trillion euro budget for the coming years, and that part of those funds will be taken from the budget targeted to Roma.
To remind of such cursive questions, it is necessary to participate in the debate of Roma representatives, including our IRU. It has the capacity and human resources to participate equally in such debates. There are other relevant Roma organizations such as IRU, ERTF, ERGO, ERIO, IREM, ERNC, PENJALIPE, KATIF,RIP, and others.
What is the reason for this "selectivity" in the selection of discussants without Roma background is debatable.
We would not like to prejudge, but the IRU notes that it is very important to find out, as some sources say, why 1.1 billion euros this year, of which 700 million euros from the funds were converted for other purposes, and where the remaining 400 million euros out of the total 1.1 billion euros for which every trace is lost, but with the blessing of the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Finally, our reaction to the debate is to raise the issue of the proposed EU draft laws. It would be good for the Roma representatives in the European Parliament who, through these draft laws, demand an end to discrimination against Roma and greater EU commitment to civil rights of European Roma, and also not to exclude Roma international organizations such as IRU, ERTF, ERGO, ERIO and others.
As a reminder, the IRU has already prepared and sent IRU Statement to EP and IRU Initiative to EC through its MEPs, which is closely linked and shows some measures in the action plans with a target in the Roma Strategy.
We sincerely believe that these suggestions and reactions will be realize with a cooperation and that in the future we Roma will not be "forgotten".
However, "NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US"
President of the IRU