High Level meeting at the Council of Europe Strasbourg, 20 October 2010
Representatives of the 47 Council of Europe countries, the EU and the Roma community gathering in Strasbourg today unanimously condemned widespread discrimination against Roma and their social and economic marginalisation.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, who called the meeting following concerns about Roma rights during the summer, said "the time for action has come. Today we have made a fresh start to actually helping the Roma population of Europe. Roma are fellow Europeans".
Member states agreed to a joint effort and pan-European response to meet the needs of the estimated 12 million Roma living in Europe.
The “Strasbourg Declaration” includes guiding principles and priorities:
It also foresees the creation of a new European training programme for more than a thousand Roma mediators, who will give legal and administrative advice to communities. Some 440 Roma mediators will be trained in 2011; the figure could rise to over 1000 in the following years, depending on the available resources. The Council of Europe plans to train some 100 lawyers in 2011. Roma mediators and lawyers will work to tackle access to housing, schools, health and jobs, and to link the Roma communities and civil society.
Efforts will build on the expertise of the Council of Europe to develop relevant co-operation with national, regional and local authorities and international organisations.
- Ministers and Secretaries of State from foreign, interior or European affairs ministries
- Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
Committee of Ministers
- Urgent debate report: Recent rise in national security discourse in Europe: the case of Roma (October 2010)
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
European Court of Human Rights
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
European Social Charter
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
- Country reports
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)
Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR
Roma and Travellers Division
European Centre for Modern Languages
Education of Roma Children
Council of Europe Develoment Bank
Conference of INGO's at the Council of Europe