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September 27, 2020
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International Roma Day: Authorities in Bucharest convey messages of support for the of social inclusion of Roma communities

In a message on the occasion of International Roma Day, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that the current government is a supporter of the social inclusion and social, cultural and economic empowerment of the Roma communities and that, to this effect, it is preparing a new national strategic framework for the next five years, the measures of which will be adjusted to the specific needs of the communities.

“Today we mark the celebration of Romania’s Roma ethnics, concomitantly with the International Roma Day. These celebrations are dedicated to the traditions and history of this ethnic group, but also to the memory of the Roma killed during the World World II, as a plea against any discrimination or social exclusion on ethnic criteria. (…) I assure you that in this government you have a supporter of the social inclusion and of the social, cultural and economic empowerment of the Roma communities. We are preparing a new national strategic framework for the next five years, providing for the inclusion of the Roma, and we consider adjusting the measures to the concrete needs of the communities – from access to water, electricity, heating and road infrastructure, to providing them the necessary school and sanitary infrastructure, professional training courses tailored to the local specific, and assistance with finding jobs. Through transparency and proactive consultation of the Roma civil society we seek together coherent solutions and the human and financial resources necessary to support development and combat any form of discrimination or social exclusion,” Orban says in his message.

The Prime Minister emphasizes that in the three decades since the fall of communism, the Romanian society has aligned to the European values and the Roma have been recognized as an ethnic minority.

“Just like all the other Romanian citizens, the Roma people wanted to live in a free, democratic and prosperous country, which would ensure equal opportunities for all. Today, after centuries of being enslaved, deported or discriminated against, the Roma people are part of the Romanian society, with equal rights and obligations. Many have overcome social prejudices and have become real beacons in various fields of activity. These are examples we want as many as possible Roma ethnics to follow and which prove that there is a valuable potential we want to encourage,” Orban says.

In the same context, the PM also calls on the ethnic Roma to support the authorities’ efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus and to respect the measures imposed.

“A decent living, jobs, a level of education worthy of a civilized country and quality medical services are the aspirations of each of us, regardless of ethnicity or whether we belong to the majority or the minority. We are all Romanian and European Union citizens and we want to stay on this path, with the contribution of each of us. Now, in particular, I am calling on you to support our efforts throughout the country to stop the spread of coronavirus and to respect the measures taken by the authorities for your protection. In the current circumstances, the health or even the life of those around us depend on the health of each of us. Many happy returns to the Roma ethnics of Romania and of the world!”

“In these extremely difficult times when the number one priority is to counter the negative effects of the pandemic, Romanian society needs a show of solidarity and responsibility from each and every citizen, regardless of ethnic group”, president Klaus Iohannis said  in a statement on International Roma Day. He said overcoming the flaws of the public systems in addressing the problems of the Roma population and eliminating the causes of its social marginalisation are issues Romania is faced with.

The Romanian Foreign Minister has underlined that it is the duty of all social players to avoid a discourse based on hatred, discrimination, racism and xenophobia.

The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest has firmly condemned any racist or xenophobic act and has urged for common responsibility in fighting prejudice, discrimination and extremist action of an ethnic or racist nature.

The idea of marking the International Roma Day came up in 1971, on the occasion of the first international Congress of Roma everywhere, held in London. The idea of marking the International Roma Day came up in 1971, on the occasion of the first international Congress of Roma everywhere, held in London. In the countries of Eastern Europe, including Romania, April 8 was dedicated to the Roma Day since 1990.

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