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The Role of the Union in Integrating the Roma: Present and Possible Future

Author(s): Olivier de Schutter | Annelies Verstichel

Journal: European Diversity and Autonomy Papers - EDAP
ISSN 1827-8361

Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: European Union | Non-discrimination | Minorities | Roma | Open Method of Coordination

The paper describes the important contribution Council Directive 2000/43/EC of29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between personsirrespective of racial or ethnic origin has made to improve the situation of theRoma in the Union. It also highlights, however, the insufficiencies of thatinstrument, when confronted to the specific needs of the Roma and to theirsituation in the Union. The paper therefore suggests that Article 13(1) EC couldbe relied upon by the European legislator either to improve further on thatDirective, for instance in order to extend its scope of application to the deliveryof administrative documents, in order to explicitly include segregation as a formof prohibited discrimination, or in order to adopt another instrument,complementary to the Racial Equality Directive, addressing in a more focusedmanner the specific needs of the Roma, while remaining attentive to thepreservation of their traditional lifestyle for those wishing not to renounce it,and ensuring that such a measure is based on a consultation of the Romathemselves. Article 13(2) EC could be relied upon to encourage the MemberStates to share the best practices they are developing in order to accelerate theintegration of the Roma, and to monitor, better and more systematically thanthey do at present, the situation of the Roma in fields such as housing,education, employment, or health care, where the Roma are not specificallyconsidered in the national action plans or the social inclusion plans of mostMember States at present.
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