Translation of Commissioner Věra Jourová speech, for the ROMACT Programme launch event in Czech Republic on September 9th 2016 (VIDEO CZ ONLY)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Unfortunately I cannot be today with you at the launch of the ROMACT programme in the Czech Republic. Allow me to send my regards through this video.
As you know the topic of Roma integration belongs to my agenda as Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
The European Commission has built a strong policy pillar for Roma integration: the “EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies“. The aim of the effort was clear; each member state should establish its own strategy for Roma integration and start implementing it.
Member states have joined us in this effort and today we can already see progress by looking at the recent report on Roma integration. However we cannot say that everything is perfect – it is far from that.
Many European Roma live in extreme poverty, many of them still suffer from social exclusion and many Roma still face discrimination in schools, hospitals and other services.
Roma children are still placed in special schools for mentally disabled children. How can they hope to reach their full potential in education and employment? What kind of future can they hope for?
Furthermore, antigypsism is more and more common in our society. Nonetheless, we pursue our efforts. In the European Commission we focus on the effective implementation of national strategies, tailored local action plans, legislative measures and on using available financial resources.
I am turning directly to you. I believe that you, with other local stakeholders including NGOs and Roma themselves, play a crucial role in achieving successful Roma inclusion.
You have an irreplaceable role in the implementation of measures that are most needed to achieve successful Roma inclusion.
I know that you face many obstacles, whether is it finding financial resources or seeking wider support and political will to propose and implement measures that would bring a real positive improvement of the situation of Roma.
I would like to highlight the fact that Roma inclusion is not only about Roma but also about non Roma, both communities live together and both will profit from this process being successful.
Today we are launching the ROMACT Programme in the Czech Republic. A Programme that supports Roma inclusion at local level, helps local authorities to prepare and design projects aimed at Roma inclusion and to apply for funding from the European Union.
The Programme also supports the Mayors in the process of including Roma and creating inclusive public services. I am truly happy that this Programme is starting in the Czech Republic and I believe it will contribute to create mutual partnerships and achieve successful Roma inclusion.
Ladies and gentleman, I wish you a pleasant day and look forward to further cooperation.