The article written by Vladimir Kolev and published on the European Public Health Alliance website provides a concise overview of the most salient events of the fourth EU Roma Week, which took place from the 18th to the 21st of March.
Organized by the European Commission, the European Parliament and other organizations, the fourth EU Roma Week focused on the “EU Framework for the National Roma integration Strategies framework” as well as on the rising phenomenon of antigypsyism in Europe. The events and workshops saw the participation of a wide-ranging panel of speakers, experts, and guests and tackled the most pressing issues regarding Roma communities across Europe, especially in relation to health, SDGs, integration and the eradication of racism.
The EU Rome Week opened with a workshop, “Let’s Make Roma Voice Heard”, in which Marcela Adamova, EPHA Roma Fellow, led the discussion on the issue of Roma health. The conclusive arguments of this first workshop were presented to the European Parliament during the second event of the Week, “Reality Check: Evaluation of the EU Framework for National Integration Strategies”, attended by several organizations and parties, including representatives from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. The main conclusions of the presentation were that there is still an ongoing disparity in relation to “Roma access to employment and decent housing”, due not to a lack of funding, but to a lack of proper implementation of strategies to tackle this issue.
The discussion continued with a focus on the ways in which implementing the SDGs may contribute to eradicating antigypsyism. The event “Roma Included: Can the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals contribute to combatting antigypsyism?” saw the presentation of a paper produced by ERGO in which the attention was drawn to how implementing SGDs may help to advocate for Roma rights.
The final conference of the fourth EU Roma Week, “Creating trust through uncovering and recognizing the truth: Advancing recognition and remedy for antigypsyism”, represented an opportunity for personal testimonies to be shared and an opportunity for a wider reflection on whether the strategies thus far implemented have helped to uproot the inequalities in the field of health, education, employment or whether more action is needed for an antigypsyism-free Europe.