ORAL QUESTION WITH DEBATE pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure by Hannes Swoboda, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Kinga Göncz and Claude Moraes, on behalf of the S&D Group to the Council
Subject: Second European Roma summit
Reflecting the shared responsibility between the EU and Member States, Roma inclusion has rightly become a European topic. The second European Roma summit, hosted by the Spanish Presidency on 8 April 2010, in Cordoba, is a time to review achievements and recognise further challenges.
1. Welcoming the draft agenda for the Cordoba Roma Summit, does the Council intend to take a common position on structural and pre-accession funding policy, reflecting the European political commitment to fully use the opportunities of these funds to promote Roma inclusion and to ensure that the Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion(1) are fully taken into account in any revisions of operational programmes and source allocation procedures?
2. In particular, given the low absorption rate of structural and pre-accession funds in some Member States and (potential) candidate countries, in what way will the Member States work together with the Commission to stimulate local authorities to make better use of structural funding opportunities to promote Roma inclusion?
3. Does the Council, in particular the current Presidency trio, intend, in consultation with the European Parliament and actively involving civil society, to present a strategic agenda on Roma inclusion, including priorities for the planning period 2014-2020?
4. Roma face both explicit and implicit discrimination, including alarming forms of racist violence, hate speech, living and educational segregation and forced evictions, but also less visible discrimination via unequal access to public services and social provisions. What actions does the Council propose to tackle both visible and implicit forms of discrimination against Roma?