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Nicolae Gheorghe 1946-2013

9 August 2013

Nicolae Gheorghe Dezideriu Gergely writes: Nicolae Gheorghe was a very dear person not only to me, but also to thousands of Romani people, Romani leaders and activists, diplomats and  politicians. He has sadly departed, but leaves behind a strong, spiritual heritage of Roma activism.

Nicolae Gheorghe was a mentor for me while I was a lawyer at Romani CRISS, and acted as a mentor for many other Roma and non-Roma. He was an outstanding driving force in the Roma movement, a strong personality and a fighter. I learned so much from  being around him. Many of us were  influenced and sometimes challenged by his passionate stance in the fight for human rights and Roma. 

His legacy is seen in the following generations of Roma activists who continue to fight on, inspired by his example. Gheorghe was a role model - he dedicated his entire life fighting for the Roma cause and particularly for unity. He taught us that diffences must unite us.

 In 1993, he founded  Romani Criss, which became one of the leading Roma rights NGOs in Romania, as well as in Europe. In 1998-1999, he played a crucial role in establishing the Working Group of Roma Associations, bringing together Romani organisations from Romania to be equal partners with the Romanian Government in creating the national strategy for Roma.

Nicolae Gheorghe continued his dedicated work for Roma rights as head of the Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues in the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. From his terms in office, we learned how to make diplomacy on Roma issues work.    

Nicolae Gheorghe was one of the most outstanding Romani leaders in Europe and a key figure in Roma political activism, not just for me but for many of us. We say goodbye with regret in our hearts, but also with the knowledge that the important work he started will continue.

Budapest, 9 August, 2013.


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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.


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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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