let this ceremony be a wake-up call to all concerned

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Strasbourg 24 January 2017: A ceremony marking International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust took place on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe.

In front of the commemorative stone on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe, addresses and wreath-laying were made by Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania; Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France, Miranda Vuolasranta, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and Denis Erhart, President of "Les Oublié(e)s" de la Mémoire Association Civile Homosexuelle du Devoir de Mémoire. Closing remarks were made by Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

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Live streaming of the 2015 Plenary Assembly of the ERTF

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Live streaming of the 2015 Plenary Assembly fo the ERTF is available at this link:
http://webtv.coe.int/index.php?EventID=46

The 2015 Plenary Assembly of the European Roma and Travellers Forum will take place on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 9.30 a.m. in the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg.

In attendance will be selected guests representing international organisations including the Council of Europe, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as well as representatives of the diplomatic missions in Strasbourg.

The 2015 Plenary Assembly’s working agenda will cover two main topics: the role of Roma Civil Society organisations in establishing a structured dialogue with relevant stakeholders at national/local level and the possibility for setting up national strategies for combating anti-Gypsyism in the Council of Europe member states. Furthermore, a few Roma related initiatives will be presented at the meeting.

Agenda [EN] [FR] [ROManes]

Call for applications

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ERTF is loking for Roma women candidates from Romania who are interested to take part in the Project "MAKING ROMA WOMEN’S VOICES AND VOTES COUNT".

ERTF hols consultations with the CoE member states on new strategy for Roma

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On 19 February 2015, the ERTF organised a meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the Council of Europe to discuss the new Council of Europe strategy for Roma. For this meeting the ERTF published a paper with its observations on the situation of the Roma community in the Council of Europe member states and also presented some concrete ideas on how to improve it.

The ERTF believes that progress can only be achieved by establishing a bilateral dialogue with member states on the obstacles and difficulties they face and on the measures to overcome them. The time is propitious for establishing such a dialogue:

  • the Secretary General is examining new options for the future agenda on Roma, and
  • the EU member states are in the process of implementing national strategies which have been drawn up in conformity with the EU Framework Strategy for the Roma.

The paper is available here.
The PowerPoint presentation is available here.

ESTABLISHING A STRUCTURED POLICY DIALOGUE WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

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Civil Society contribution on establishing a structured policy dialogue with the European Commission

(Brussels, 9 September, 2014): We are European level organisations that wish to engage in a structured policy dialogue with the European Commission to contribute to the policy process on meaningful Roma integration by offering our expertise and experience. For that purpose we have prepared this position paper that aims to lead the discussion on the proposed agenda point entitled 'structured policy dialogue' at the consultation meeting with the European Commission on September 17th in Brussels.

ERTF REACTION ON THE SITUATION OF ROMA IN UKRAINE

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Over the past few months, the ERTF Secretariat received numerous alarming reports on observance of the rights of Roma in Ukraine. As in many other European countries Roma in the Ukraine are a marginalised and impoverished minority and under the current political circumstances they are caught between two fires and have become the scapegoat of various factions.

The first attacks against Roma have been recorded already in January during the demonstrations in Maidan followed by pogroms in Chorostyn, near Kiev. Groups of armed men attacked Roma homes, stole money and jewellery, beat up the inhabitants and threatened them with being shot unless they left immediately. In Eastern Ukraine hundreds of Roma families are fleeing the violence in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Slavjansk.

SURVEY: 2014 EP CANDIDATES & ROMA

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During the European elections from 22nd to 25th May 2014 all European Union (EU) citizens had the chance to determine the composition of the European Parliament (EP) for the next five years. This is of great importance since the political majority that has been elected is the one that will shape the European legislation, which affects every European Union citizen.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) firmly believes that the European Parliament, representing all European citizens, should play a vital role in improving the situation of Roma. Therefore we decided to develop a questionnaire on Roma to find out to what extent Roma inclusion will feature on the EP political agenda in the next term.

ERTF REACTION OVER PHYSICAL ATTACK OF A YOUNG ROMA

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The European Roma and Travellers Forum was shocked to learn that a young Roma was sequestrated and savagely beaten up by a group of people accusing him of robbery in Seine Saint-Denis, France. The young Roma is in a coma and his life seriously in danger. Our organisation is concerned that racist speeches against the Roma, too often without reaction from the authorities and sometimes even supported, by some politicians, are now developing into physical aggression and murder.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum hopes that this case will be properly investigated and the culprits condemned. The ERTF also calls on all organisations and individuals to stand up against this spiral of anti-gypsyism before the situation degenerates any further. We would like to express our deep sympathies to the Roma teenager and his family, with the hope that he will promptly recover.

Physical attack of a young Roma