The European Union have decided to continue support the integration of Gypsies into society. But While promising continued financial support for Gypsy integration, Anna Diamantopoulou, the EU commissioner for employment and social affairs, warned Gypsies that traditions that breach human rights would not be tolerated in the European Union. In some Gypsy communities, traditions such as the buying and selling of young brides and keeping children out of school are still common.
The aim of the conference, called “Roma in an Expanding Europe,” is to find new ways of cooperation between civil organizations, governments and Gypsy communities. Roma is another name by which Gypsies are called. The Hungarian government’s commissioner for Gypsy issues, Laszlo Teleki, said that solving the poor living conditions facing the estimated 7 million to 9 million Gypsies living across Europe should be one of the highest priorities for the EU after enlargement.
“To be a Roma in Europe today is to face discrimination and racism, ill health, unemployment and a range of other social problems,” Teleki said.
The EU is expected to accept Hungary and nine other mostly East European countries next May and could include Romania and Bulgaria – both with large Gypsy communities – by 2007.
Source: Herald Tribune