John WARMISHAM: “As local and regional authorities, it is our duty to publicly condemn discrimination against Roma”
John Warmisham (United Kingdom, SOC), Thematic Rapporteur on Roma-related activities, and Michael Guet of the Council of Europe's Division for Roma and Travellers took stock of the present situation in Europe. In particular, they provided information on the results of Congress initiatives, including the Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism and the Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion.
“National Roma networks set up in Council of Europe member States and supported by the Congress function as discussion platforms in which mayors can meet regularly to exchange views and good practice models,” explained John WARMISHAM, during the Current Affairs Committee Meeting on 19 June 2018, in Strasbourg.
He welcomed the creation of the first two national Roma Networks in Ukraine (2017) and Greece (2018), and confirmed the Congress’ will to encourage the setting-up of such networks in other countries. “For this year, we would like to hold kick-off conferences for national Roma networks in the Czech Republic and in Albania,” he said.
Mr. WARMISHAM highlighted the continuing discrimination against Roma in some countries, including violent attacks against them. “We are keeping a close eye on Italy in particular since the new Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced in his speech to the Italian Senate last week that the government plans to close all camps inhabited by Romani people in the country,” he stressed. “It is crucial that the local and regional authorities express their condemnation publicly,” he added.
John WARMISHAM concluded mentioning the positive results of the campaign to promote the “Declaration of mayors and elected local and regional representatives against anti-Gypsyism”, endorsed by the Congress in March 2017 and so far signed by 102 municipalities from 32 member States.
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