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Section 3  Proposals and Recommendations

1. Research and experience show that there are some key social and economic factors which contribute to racism such as:  dissatisfaction with one’s life circumstances, fear of unemployment, feelings of insecurity about the future, and a low confidence in the way public authorities and political establishments function.  Therefore, if European institutions, national and local governments are to be effective in tackling the root causes of racism, which they must if they are to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms, then it is imperative that they address these socio-economic factors.

2.In the reform of the regulations governing EU Structural Funds there is need for mainstreaming of equality and exclusion across all operation programmes.  Within this there is need for a specific targeting of minority groups including Roma/Gypsy/Travellers.

3.Special EU initiatives need to ensure that Roma/Gypsy/Traveller projects are included in positive action measures, e.g. Fifth Action Framework for Equality between Women and Men; Targeted Social Research, etc.  

4Ongoing funding with specific budget lines to promote interculturalism and to eliminate racism need to address the situation of Roma/Gypsies/Travellers and such funding should be accessible to small organisations.

5.In the context of education, programmes should be initiated to promote minority languages.  With the priority of improving the linguistic skills of children who are able to speak the minority language (e.g. Romani) and not only to teach such languages minimally to children from families for whom this is a totally foreign tongue.

6.Efforts should be made by education authorities to enable Roma/Gypsies/Travellers to benefit from information technology especially for the purpose of distance learning.  This should include web sites, publications, human rights documentation and various other reports and updates on relevant developments through Europe.    

7.  Building on the achievements and momentum of the European Year Against Racism there is a need to ensure that Roma/Gypsies/Travellers are explicitly included in any follow-up initiatives such as:  action plans, round-table discussion and consultations.

8.In recognition of the fact that Roma/Gypsies/Travellers have been part of the European heritage and culture for centuries, the European Commission should present a proposal for a Council Decision to designate a specific year as the European Year of the. Roma/Gypsies/Travellers This could be done in co-operation with the Council of Europe and could be strengthened further by a UNICEF focus on Roma/Gypsy/Traveller children.

9.The European Commission should establish a clear mechanism for interdepartmental co-operation so as to develop an integrated strategy for tackling issues affecting Roma/Gypsies/Travellers.

10.European anti-racist initiatives need to address the situation of third-country nationals (some of whom are Roma) with regard to resident’s rights, voting rights, free movement (especially when related to work: music, conferences, etc.), and aid to local developmental projects.

11.  The newly-established European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, in co-operation with the Council of Europe, needs to undertake a special initiative to address the specific forms of racism experienced by Roma/Gypsy/Travellers.  The Centre needs to be able to provide reliable and comparable data at European level on the causes of this racism and how it impacts on Roma/Gypsies/Travellers in relation to:  freedom of movement, employment and economic activity, media portrayal, education, training, social inclusion, civic engagement, and cultural identity.

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