Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-01-Speech-4-029"

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". Mr President, I would like to thank Mrs Járóka for having prepared this report, which I think is highly important. We share her wish to further the social integration of ethnic minorities such as, for instance, the Roma – and the Roma women in particular – while taking account of the gender dimension. Equality and the fight against discrimination are indeed the two fundamental values of the European Union. These values therefore inspire the implementation of our policy and we take actions in different forms. For instance, earlier this year, we created a high-level group on the social integration of ethnic minorities and their full participation in the labour market. We asked this group to submit recommendations to us by the end of 2007 on examples of good practice, which you also mentioned. Second, on the law, Roma women are covered by Community legislation prohibiting any form of direct or indirect discrimination based on gender or ethnic origin. The legal protection covers access to employment, education, healthcare, goods and services. There is also an awareness-raising programme and different campaigns. The European Union provides financial support for specific projects through the structural funds and various Community programmes. Almost EUR 300 million have been allocated to projects to assist the Roma population over the past five years. We will also have a special year: the year 2007 will be the European Year of Equal Opportunities. I think this will be an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of multiple discrimination, in particular the question of Roma women. The Roma community itself has a very important role to play in encouraging the full participation of women in social, economic and political life. We are indeed very conscious that the problem of multiple discrimination, which is highlighted in your report, Mrs Járóka, is widespread. The Commission intends to launch a study this year in order to refine the analysis and also reinforce our policies on this issue. What have we been doing about analysis and data collection? The establishment of the European Institute for Gender Equality will, in my view, undoubtedly bring progress in this field. The collection and analysis of reliable comparable data at Community level will hopefully improve that. The institute’s work programme will be in line with the priorities of the Commission, but it is up to the management board to also decide on how best to integrate the issues relating to the situation of Roma women."@en1

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