Tag: european commission
By Bernard Rorke
On the eve of International Roma Day, in an illegal pre-emptive strike, Italian authorities demolished the Gianturco camp near Naples. This action was designed to see off attempts by NGOs to secure emergency interventions to halt the mass evictions scheduled for 11 April.
Yet another year, yet another Roma Platform, and still we are seeing slow progress in terms of any meaningful, concrete outcomes from these meetings.
On 29 and 30 November, I attended the launch of the 10th European Roma Platform in Brussels. The main aim of the Platform is to present a high level forum bringing various stakeholders from the grassroots, local and national, and European level to the discussion table. My experiences this year however, showed me that once again this was not strictly the case.
The Hungarian government’s reaction to the European Commission launching an infringement procedure veered between feigned bafflement and a petulant accusation that the EU was ‘getting revenge’ because Hungary earlier contested the EU decision on mandatory refugee quotas.
Immediately prior to the launch of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005, the ERRC reported to the European Commission that the “recent legal and policy amendments aiming to combat racial segregation in schooling in Hungary” were “among the most far-reaching and innovative policies on Roma anywhere in Europe.”
A head-scratching, confessional introduction
Two years ago, I was asked at my interview for this job about the Court of Justice of the EU (“the CJEU” or “Luxembourg”1). I could hear the edge in my soon-to-be colleagues’ voices: the fact that the CJEU had never decided a Roma rights case2 was a source of anxiety. That anxiety was partially relieved a few weeks ago when the CJEU delivered a judgment providing guidance to a Bulgarian national court about how to analyse a practice reeking of racism. (A power company had put individual electricity meters on seven-metre-high poles in a Roma neighbourhood to make sure they could not be tampered with, instead of installing them at the normal, reachable height.)