ERTF reacts on the recent evictions in Paris

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Following the recent order for systematic evictions of Roma issued by the police of the 6th arrondissement in Paris, Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum(ERTF) send a letter to Ms Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. By expressing his deep concerns over such orders he also said that this is one more act of violence against Roma and lack of political will to deal with this urgent social problem. Furthermore, such actions stigmatize an entire community and "justify" unlawful racial profiling.

Some years ago the French government was called to order by the European Commission precisely for such racial profiling circular issued by the French ministry of Interior on 5 August 2010. The ERTF agrees that seeing Roma families in the street with very young children is not acceptable from a human and social point of view. Nor is it acceptable to chase them from one place to another and from one arrondissement to another. On the contrary, their right to shelter, which is closely connected to the right to life and to the right to respect of every person's human dignity, should be respected and applied accordingly. In this respect it is also worth mentioning that Paris is packed with street beggars and it is unfortunate that Roma have been tagged without looking at the damage that such actions by the authorities could bring to the entire community and the image of the Roma in the public opinion.

REVEAL THE HISTORY - HONOUR THE VICTIMS

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EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY DESIGN A STAMP

2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the genocide committed against Roma during the Second World War. The Roma nation commemorates this tragedy on August 2nd, the date on which over 3,000 Roma were exterminated in the evening of 2nd August 1944 in gas chamber V of "Zigeunerlager BIII" at Auschwitz – Birkenau. The genocide on Roma during the Second World War is by far the greatest tragedy in Roma history.

The official recognition of the genocide committed against Roma on a national and international level, is of crucial importance to fighting and eliminating the anti-Gypsyism that unfortunately is happening throughout all of Europe to this day.

Due to the significance of this topic and in the light of the 70th anniversary, the ERTF would like to mark August 2nd in a special way in 2014. We are therefore looking to issue a postal stamp, in order to spread awareness and to promote the importance of August 2nd.

OPEN LETTER to the organisers of the European Roma Summit

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Strasbourg, 3 April 2014

Dear Ms Reding,
Dear Mr Barroso,
Dear Mr Schulz,

The European Commission is celebrating with great pomp a European Roma Summit Meeting on 4th April in Brussels. This one-day meeting consisting largely of a series of speeches by non-Roma personalities raises serious concerns as to its purpose, content and participation.

We find it difficult to understand what is the purpose of the Summit and its added value to what has been achieved so far. The themes of the panels – making policies inclusive for all Roma at the local level, making EU funding reach the local and regional authorities to support Roma integration, and making Roma integration a local reality in enlargement countries – are issues which have been discussed ad nauseam in both national and international fora and been the subject of numerous recommendations and decisions of the European Commission and other international bodies. A series of speeches by Ministers and Deputy Ministers is not likely to create the commitment which is so sadly missing.

The ERTF and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities entered into cooperation agreement

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Strasbourg, 26 March 2014: On the occasion of the 26th Congress Session, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) entered into a cooperation agreement with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

On the occasion of the signature of the Agreement Mr Kawczynski stated: "To begin with, we have requested to strengthen our working relationship with the Congress because we felt that you can help in improving the living conditions of the Roma and ensure their full participation in society. Your positive response has convinced us of your willingness and commitment to bring about the desired changes for Roma."