The hour of truth
The different and important events of this year have characterized these Christmast holidays. Europe declared this period the “year of the fight against the poverty and the social exclusion” because political summits and promises of different nature have been carried out. At the same time we have witnessed a conflict that had the greatest media impact on the history of gypsy community.
We have had the opportunity of observing both “the nicest and the toughest faces” of the politicians and this provoked opposite feelings within our community and in our hearts such as hope and despair, dreams and frustration, impotence and expectation. This feeling reflects the current state of affairs because, during these weeks, the Parliament and the European Commission are establishing the course of action for the new “Roma Inclusion European Strategy”.
We need to reflect upon the supremacy of all those who controlled the investments directed to the gypsy community. While these supremacies will exist and will permit the participation to the important associative gypsy movement, even if Europe encourages the Roma inclusion through strategies and priorities, our situation won’t change. Then, we obtain incongruous results compared with the quantity of these investments that, according to the Commissioner László Andor, amount to the sixth part of the European Social Fund. Andor demands a greater efficiency in the usage and application of these funds.
We need a real and deep change within the society in order to help the gypsy communities in overcoming the daily difficulties they usually face. Before the crisis we suffered this situation and it worsened even more. It reached levels that most people don’t know.
However, the economic crisis contributed to worsen the gypsy “tragedy” because of the strenghtening of xenophobic parties and of ideologies of exclusion within a great number of politicians and leaders. Paradoxically, this happened in an alarming way during the “year of the fight against the poverty and the social exclusion” when, after the Cordoba summit, specific agreements directed to the inclusion of the European Roma community were reached.
Viviane Reding, the Vice-President of the European Commission, recently affirmed that it’s time to “guarantee the end of the bad practices” while László Andor, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, explained also that “most member states use these fundings incorrectly.”
Now it’s “the hour of truth” in order to prepare the new “European Roma Inclusion strategy”. We will comprehend if it will be possible to establish effective integration politics to promote the participation of the gypsy organizations or if, on the contrary, the situation will be managed by the same people in the same way. If this happened, the associative movements essential to develop the interventions within our communities would be condemned.
The things will have to change in Spain and outside in order to achieve what Bruxelles demands regarding the participation of the gypsy organizations in this process. Even if this intention exists, the current “closed” structures have stopped it. Nowadays we disregard most gypsy organizations that don’t participate and don’t establish political actions in order to develop our community.
Livia Járóka, the gypsy Member of the European Parliament, informs in her report (see), that the integration Roma politics can’t stop within a “grey zone of slogans” adding that “the governments must keep their promises in order to achieve concrete results.”
We trust in a real change of the current politics of inclusion and of the attitude of the people who manage them so that their development will be more effective and reasonable. We also trust in a new “European Roma Inclusion strategy” (that Livia Járóka will explain in Gypsy World in the middle of January) in order to connect all the European gypsies, without discrimination, hate and demagogy. We still hope this will happen and we have shown our dream in the Christmast postcard designed for this year.