International Roma Day: How the European Union supports the study of Roma culture, language and history

Briefing 03-04-2018

International Roma Day, marked on 8 April, is devoted to Europe's largest ethnic minority, the Roma, a predominant part of whom suffer from discrimination and isolation. This day also focuses on Roma history, culture, language and aspirations, which remain largely unknown in Europe, even though they are key to mutual understanding and can contribute to closing the gap between communities. The study and promotion of Roma culture and language fall under the remit of legislation concerning the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity on the one hand, and the protection of minority languages, on the other, as provided for by the EU Treaties and the Council of Europe Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. The EU offers support for the preservation of the Roma language, Romani, and its numerous local dialects, some of which are endangered and could disappear. The EU allocates funds to the study of Roma history, culture and language, while some EU Member States have also put in place programmes that include the teaching of Roma culture, history and language in primary schools.