London MEP Jean Lambert has denounced the continuing discrimination against Roma people on the 2015 International Roma Day, marked around the world today.
‘Full equality for Europe’s Roma minority is still an unacceptably distant dream. The EU has made significant efforts to make equality a reality but it presently remains acceptable for politicians in some countries to make racist remarks about Roma, inevitably resulting in more discrimination.
‘With the far-right Front National coming 2nd in France’s local elections held this week, it is a sobering day to take stock and realise that unless we fight discrimination and bigotry in all its forms, wherever and to whomever it is directed, we are not putting enough distance between 2015 and Europe’s darkest days.
‘The battle to over-come prejudices directed at Roma people, and to end discrimination, is part of the struggle for social justice and a better world – for which we all share responsibility.
‘At a governmental level, all EU governments must adopt policies promoting the safety, welfare, and equal opportunities for their Roma citizens, and be willing to contribute the required resources to make this happen.’
Here is the speech from the President of the European Parliament at the opening of the International Roma Day Conference.