MEP highlights importance of Roma integration
Press release from EFA MEP Jordi Sebastià
EFA MEP Jordi Sebastià has organised a meeting at the European Parliament to discuss the failure of integration policies for Roma people in Europe, particularly with regard to education.
Jordi Sebastià invited representatives of the Roma community in Spain to meet with senior figures from the European Commission and European Parliament.
The meeting highlighted the high drop-out rates of Roma students and the link between educational attainment and escaping poverty.
Roma representatives spoke of the difficulty in finding work due to discrimination, and of the socio-economic effects of this joblessness.
Speakers included Joao Delgado, Head of Unit responsible for School Education and ERASMUS+ programme at the European Commission and MEP Soraya Post, who is herself of Roma origin.
EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales) also spoke as a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Education and Culture.
The EU has previously adopted a framework for national strategies for Roma integration, but there is a huge amount of work still to be done.
Representatives agreed that improving access to education, particularly through lifelong learning, would be vital to assist integration and reduce poverty and exclusion.