We are glad to see that over the last few years the 8th of April, the International Roma Day, has become an occasion for heads of states and intergovernmental institutions to make official speeches about Roma and acknowledge the important role Roma communities play in our societies.
However, the overall situation of Roma today is far from what I wish it to be. Far too many Roma are born without access to an identity, far too many Roma toddlers are left outside of the social and educational facilities available to the majorities, far too many Roma children are affected by abject poverty, do not attend kindergartens, and drop out too early from school. Segregation, low quality education, and special schools continue to be problems that disproportionately affect Roma.
Together with the Special Representative for Roma Issues we decided for this year to make some clear commitments for the future, to reach, together with our Member States 10 goals for the next 10 years. These very concrete goals concern Roma and Traveller children (identity papers, infant mortality, vaccination, schooling, child marriages), living conditions, employment and political participation of Roma.