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Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote

Text tabled : A6-0479/2008

  Lívia Járóka (PPE-DE), in writing. – (HU) I consider my fellow Member’s report of special significance, since human rights constitute one of the pillars of the values set out in the Treaties of the European Union. In addition to democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights is what we require of candidate countries, and we also emphasise the affirmation of universal, inalienable rights in our international relations. However, the European Union will only be a credible global defender of human rights if in its own territory it uses unfailingly every instrument available to defend the values expressed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The report devotes a separate section to the Roma, who are the largest minority in the European Union, and who are most heavily burdened by social exclusion. It is the joint responsibility of European states to design a comprehensive and unified strategy to tackle the problems of the Roma, who for the most part live in deplorable conditions and destitution. A framework programme with action-oriented and clear objectives and deadlines is needed, one that makes use of effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

A programme must be designed which, independently of parties and government cycles, simultaneously addresses education, housing, health and discrimination and takes on poor practices in the Member States; such a programme should be capable of serving as the basis for immediate action in regions in crisis. If we can help the millions of Roma to become full-fledged European citizens and members of the European Community in a spiritual sense, this will represent a giant leap towards the social cohesion of the continent.

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