Roma Rights 2, 2002: Fortress Europe

10 July 2002

The ERRC’s first publication ever addressed the theme of “Fortress Europe” – restrictive laws, policies and practices in Europe aimed at or resulting in the exclusion of non-citizens. Divide and Deport: Roma and Sinti in Austria, published in September 1996, examined Roma rights issues generally in Austria, but was particularly preoccupied with Roma who had arrived in Austria in recent decades, since as a result among other things of the Holocaust, these comprised an estimated 5/6 of Austria’s Romani population. Divide and Deport described in detail the legal and administrative scaffolding which, taken as a whole and in combination with a powerful and discursive local hostility to “Gypsies”, was rendering life with dignity close to impossible for the greater part of Austria’s Roma. Divide and Deport quotes a 1995 study indicating that the three major German-speaking countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland – had particularly problematic records with respect to the integration of foreigners, more so than other European states. Would such a statement be true today?


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