Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-407"

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"Thank you very much. Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you that this Parliament drew attention to the lack of integration of the Roma back in 1983. It also asked the Commission, the Council and the governments of the Member States in a Resolution of 1994 to do everything in the interests of the social, economic and political integration of the Roma. As you will remember, in the Resolution adopted by Parliament in April 2005 we asked the Commission to adopt an action plan containing clear recommendations for the Member States and candidate countries relating to the economic, social and political integration of the Roma. Again in November 2007 the matter of the social integration of the Roma was incorporated into the text of the Parliament’s Resolution on freedom of movement, upon my recommendation, as a European-level Roma strategy. We asked the Commission again to prepare immediately a European strategy for the social inclusion of the Roma, using the integration fund and structural funds. In amongst all this, we know for certain that Roma children are still forced to study in segregated classes and in segregated institutions in at least ten Member States of the Union, and we, the Roma, are unjustifiably classed as disabled, put into a determined profession and labelled for all time. Unfortunately it is well known in every Member State what slums and what terrible conditions the Roma live in. I regret to state that we also know very well that the average life expectancy of Roma in every Member State is 15 years lower than the life expectancy of Union citizens. We should repeat that the Roma are over-represented among the unemployed in every single Member State. In amongst all this, unfortunately, not a single month goes by when there is not a racist attack against Roma in any Member State. We know from the news – or we would not particularly have heard about it – that on the night of 4 January 2008, a slum in the Marconi district of Rome, with approximately 250 Roma living there, was set on fire, and then, three days later, also in Italy, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the local gipsy settlement in Aprilia, directly threatening the lives of several hundred people. Racist motives were behind the attack in both cases. There is no room for doubt, the calling to account is justified, there must be a proposal for a Resolution, there must be a European-level strategy, and every Member State must prepare an action plan for integrating the Roma. Nobody is an exception, nobody can act as if there were no Roma in their own country – whether or not they recognise them – and then what has been said would not be true of any of the Member States of the Union, without exception. Thank you."@en1

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