On the occasion of the International Roma Day, Eurodiaconia calls on the Member States of the EU commit themselves to invest in Roma inclusion.
Eurodiaconia aims to remind decision-makers that the cost of social exclusion for Europe’s future is far greater than the cost of investing in inclusion now, and not only in economic terms. Failing to integrate the Roma population is a great loss to Europe’s human and social capital.
Eurodiaconia members as providers of social and health care services are more than aware of the dire poverty and social exclusion that many Roma experience across Europe. In the 21st century, the lack of access to decent housing, employment, education and health for Roma is not only unacceptable, it is shameful. For this reason Eurodiaconia welcomes the initiative of an EU Framework for Roma Integration Strategies and the request for Member States to submit national strategies. However for these strategies to be effective, real political will is needed at local, regional and national level to ensure that commitments made are realised through action.
“Eurodiaconia believes that change can happen, but we cannot expect deep societal changes overnight. We need a long-term strategy for Roma inclusion backed by genuine political will. We have to realise that integration is a two-way process and discrimination from non-Roma citizens will only perpetuate exclusion. Above all, it is about fundamental human rights which Roma, like all others, are entitled to enjoy. We invite national and local authorities to call on churches and diaconal organisations to help implement and monitor the strategies together and primarily with the participation of Roma.” (Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia)
Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe wide community of organisations founded in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia, who are committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality and justice. Eurodiaconia is based in Brussels and currently has 36 members in 22 countries.