European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Statement by President von der Leyen, Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Dalli
Ahead of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, on 2 August, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, stated:
“On the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, we commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Roma victims of the Holocaust who suffered and were murdered under the Nazi regime.
“We may never forget the Roma persecution during the Holocaust. We also cannot turn a blind eye to the challenges and discrimination Roma minority is still facing.
“We work closely with our Member States to fight anti-gypsyism. This year we will present a first assessment of the national Roma strategies. In our Union, we strive for openness, tolerance and respect for human dignity for all people.
“Only with this spirit can we fight racism and discrimination.”
In 2015, the European Parliament declared 2 August as the annual European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate the 500,000 European Roma murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe, representing at least a quarter of their total population at that time.
In 2020, the European Commission adopted the EU Roma Strategic Framework, which aims to give all Roma the opportunity to realise their full potential. To this end, the framework sets out a comprehensive three-pillar approach: equality with all other members of society, social and economic inclusion, and participation in political, social, economic and cultural life.
Tomorrow, on 2 August, Commissioner Dalli will visit the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Commissioner Dalli will meet with the Director of the Auschwitz Museum and visit Blocks 13 and 27. The Commissioner will pay respect in a commemoration speech at the memorial site and lay a wreath in honour of the Roma victims of Holocaust. In the afternoon, the Commissioner will meet with young people, many of whom are from Ukraine, with a special focus on youth, education and remembrance, as well as the aggression against Ukraine; and then will join these young people in meeting with survivors of the Holocaust.
This autumn, we will deliver a first Report on the assessment of the National Strategies on Roma. This report will assess the National Strategic Frameworks submitted by the Member States. It will also look into how Member States address the fight against antigypsyism and what measures they have put in place to promote awareness of Roma cultures, language and history, including the memory of the Roma Holocaust and reconciliation processes.
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