“The Roma are part of Europe’s cultural heritage and values and they have contributed to the cultural richness, diversity, economy and common history of the EU. On 8 April, we celebrate Roma history and culture and raise awareness of the situation of Romani people”, said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, and Lívia Járóka MEP, the first Vice-President of the European Parliament of Roma origin, on International Roma Day.

Upon the request of Lívia Járóka, the European Parliament officially displayed the Roma flag on one of its buildings for the first time in history honouring the day. Mrs Járóka highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the poor living conditions and situation of Roma in the EU and around the world.

“The national Roma strategies have not reached the expected goals set by the European Parliament. There is still limited involvement of local stakeholders, insufficient monitoring and limited progress and structural changes in the areas of education, employment, housing, health, digitalisation, agriculture and anti-gypsyism. The direction is good but the pace is too slow. The European Commission and the Member States need to take more targeted actions”, she said.

“The EPP Group, as before, is dedicated to making further progress on the inclusion of Roma and we will continue to do so with regard to the post-2020 EU Roma inclusion strategy”, concluded Manfred Weber.