The Council recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the member states adopted by the Council of the European Union on 9-10 December, 2013 is the umpteenth appeal to member states to honour their commitments to improve the situation of the Roma and to close gaps between the Roma and the general population.
It repeats what has been recommended over the last two decades by the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the OSCE, not to mention the Strasbourg Declaration 2010, the decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights under the European Social Charter and the recommendations made by the various Council of Europe monitoring bodies.
A reference to these texts would have underlined the inaction of member states over several years and in spite of numerous appeals. As the Recommendation stands it would seem that awareness of this tragic situation arose during the last few years and then thanks only to the European Union.
The European Union has undoubtedly got wider powers and capacities than other international organisations. In the present context of widespread anti-Gypsyism one would expect the European Union to take a tougher stance than a legally non-binding recommendation repeating what has been said for years by other international organisations.