Disputed Rights: The Free Movement of Roma as EU Citizens
Venue: Hotel Ramada Majestic, Calea Victoriei 38-40, Sector 1, Bucharest
Organisation: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels
Contact: Edoardo Boggio, Email
Like all Europeans, Roma possess certain rights on the basis of EU Citizenship. Focusing on the freedom of movement and residence in Europe, the seminar is going to discuss these rights and how their enjoyment can be promoted by European law and politics. The goal is to enhance the knowledge of European citizens’ rights and to encourage an exchange of experiences among international and national experts, civil society’s activists, and other relevant public actors.
Concept of Seminar:
The deterioration of general civic and social standards in times of an economic crisis has its most severe consequences in the vulnerable and unprotected layers of our societies, such as the Roma community. This situation represents a real threat to the overall balance set of European fundamental rights. More frequently, European governments establish discriminatory policies, directly and indirectly legitimizing populist behaviors against Roma people.
The actual political scenario is seriously undermining consolidated and fundamental rights, such as the freedom of movement and residence within the EU, the respect of migrant’s rights. It is threatening the consolidation of a European citizenship.
Latest in a long list of public cases, the recent Affaire des Roms in France represented a clear example of the gradual and generalized degradation in the political attitude towards Roma. In these circumstances, international organizations and civil society strongly condemned the French government, denouncing unlawful and violent measures undertaken by the French authorities and the illegal returns of Roma to Romania.
In a European perspective, the interventions of Parliament and Commission are meaningful instruments for pursuing the difficult process of the implementation of an effective European citizenship, with the freedom of movement and residence being one of its pivotal pillars. Commenting the state of transposition of the Free Movement Directive, the European Commission in December 2008 observed that “not one single Member State has transposed the Directive effectively and correctly in its entirety” and that “the overall transposition of the Directive is rather disappointing”. Since then, the overall situation has not improved significantly and in some European States it has even dangerously deteriorated.
Evictions and expulsions of European citizens, the compliance with fundamental rights of police’s actions and mass expulsions, the criminalization of mobility and the access to legal and social guarantees are among those important questions that must be clarified at the light of international and European legislation.
International surveys prove that Roma people are the most discriminated community in Europe, determining persistent discrimination and far-reaching social exclusion. Permanent deprivation of basic rights as individuals and European citizens are preconditions for perpetuating an endemic situation of social marginalization. The freedom of movement and residence for EU citizens is strongly linked with the recognition of civic and social rights, basic requirements for fostering integration, and social inclusion.
The seminar aims at tackling the specific dimension of Roma at the light of the European citizenship and the enhancement and enjoyment of its related rights, primarily the freedom of movement and residence in Europe. With regard to the situation of the returned Roma people in Romania, the seminar intends to foster a debate on the impact of these policies in regard to the Roma people’s condition and to explore possible alternative patterns to counter the current political mainstream. The main goal is to enhance the knowledge of European citizens’ rights and encourage an exchange of information and experiences among international and national experts, civil society’s activists and other relevant public actors.
Tuesday, 7th December 2010
Birgit Daiber, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels Office
Cornelia Ernst, Member of European Parliament GUE/NGL
Monica Ghecia, ERIO
10:00-11:30 PANEL I: Roma Mobility in the Light of European Citizenship
Moderator: Nando Sigona, University of Oxford
Introduction: The Value of European Citizenship and its Relevance
for the Roma
Massimo Merlino, Centre for European Policy Studies: The Legal Framework of EU, Council of Europe and OSCE
Ann Carry Dana, GISTI: Relevant Cases in the European Court of Justice
11:30-11:45 Coffee Break
11:45-13:00 Continuation PANEL I
Alessandro Simoni, Università di Firenze: The Social Reality of Roma in the Destination Countries
Laura Cashman, Canterbury Christ Church University: The Role of the European Union in Regards to the Mobility of Roma
14:00-16:00 PANEL II: The Current Situation in the European Countries
Moderator: Marian Mandache, Romani Criss
France: Henri Braun, Voix des Rroms / Dana Ann Carry, GISTI
Italy: Marco Brazzoduro, Università Roma La Sapienza
Spain: Teresa Sordé Martí, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
Germany: Robin Schneider, Senat Berlin
16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-18:00 Continuation PANEL II
Eniko Vincze, University of Cluj: Push Factors in Romania and the Situation of the Returning Roma
Testimonials by Family Birta and Presentation of Short Film ”Vanished Promises”
Wednesday, 8th December 2010
09:30-11:00 PANEL III: Spaces of Influence for Political Actors
Moderator: Valeriu Nicolae, ERGO
Introduction: What can European, national and local actors do in order to promote the free movement of Roma?
Open Space Discussion with Monica Ghecia, ERIO; Viorel Zaharia, ERTF; Sorin Vana / Christinela Ionescu, "Thumende" Jiu Valley; Iosif Calin, Vox Civica; Marian Mandache, Romani Criss; Stefan Iovan, Forum Art; Oana Mizil, MP Romania (PSD); Cornelia Ernst, MEP (GUE/NGL); Piotr Janiszewski, University of Gdańsk; Daniel Bliort, Partidul Alianta Socialista; and others.
11:00-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:45 Continuation PANEL III
Moderator: Laura Cashman, Canterbury Christ Church University
Introduction: How can local authorities enhance the social inclusion of Roma?
Heather Ureche, Equality
Christina Nastase, Südosteuropa e.V.
Robin Schneider, Senat Berlin
Birgit Daiber, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels Office
13:00-14:30 Lunch and Departure
Birta, Mr., "Thumende" Jiu Valley
Birta, Ms., "Thumende" Jiu Valley
Blasi, Mariangela, ARCI (Associazione Ricreativa e Culturale Italiana)
Bliort, Daniel, Partidul Alianta Socialista (AS)
Boggio Marzet, Edoardo, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Braun, Henri, La Voix des Rroms
Brazzoduro, Marco, Università Roma La Sapienza
Călin, Iosif, Vox Civica
Cashman, Prof. Laura, University of Canterbury
Cernusakova, Barbora, Amnesty International
Daiber, Birgit, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Dana, Ann Cary, GISTI (Groupe d'Information et de Soutien des Immigrés)
Ernst, Cornelia, Member of the European Parliament - GUE/NGL
Ghecia, Monica, ERIO (European Roma Information office)
Giovagnoli, Sergio, ARCI
Ionescu, Cristinela, "Thumende" Jiu Valley
Iovan, Stefan, Forum Art
Janiszewski, Piotr, University of Gdańsk / Młodzi Socjaliści
Mandache, Marian, Romani Criss
Merlino, Massimo, CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies)
Nastase, Christina, Südosteuropa e.V.
Nicolai, Valeriu, ERGO / Policy Center for Roma and Minorities
Schneider, Robin, Senat Berlin
Schulz, Thomas, Film Director
Sigona, Nando, University of Oxford
Simoni, Allessandro, Università di Firenze
Sordé Martí, Teresa, Universitat Autonoma Barcelona
Striethorst, Anna, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Tursi, Valerio, ARCI
Ureche, Heather, European Dialogue
Vana, Sorin, "Thumende" Jiu Valley
Vincze, Eniko, University of Cluj
Zaharia, Viorel, ERTF (European Roma Travellers Forum)
>> Video of Conference
>> Programm of Seminar in Romanian