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Daily Express: ‘Now EU “Crackpots” demand gypsy MPs’

Another entirely misleading article published by the The Daily Express on September 30th claims the EU could impose quotas of Roma MPs in the UK. The article states if a resolution from the European Parliament becomes law “all the political parties in the UK will have to impose female gypsy candidates on the electorate and get them into Parliament."

What are the facts?

The European Framework for Roma inclusion looks into ways of helping integrate traveller communities into education, employment, healthcare and housing. It makes no mention of political representation, let alone quotas.

What our elected politicians are trying to do is draw attention to the exclusion and discrimination faced by Roma all around Europe, around 90% of whom live below the poverty line. The proposed measures speak generally about Roma participation in politics and public administration.

Specifically, they call on EU member states to:

- include in their national Roma inclusion strategies tailored programmes for the active inclusion of Roma women in the labour market and to make life-long learning available in order to acquire marketable skills

- promote political participatory policy by supporting the active participation of Romani women's at local, national, and European level;

- increase access to jobs in public administration for Romani women and men.

The European Parliament calls on the member states to improve the situation of Roma women, by recommending tailored programmes for the active inclusion of Roma women in the labour market, flexible working hours, lifelong learning available for Roma women, health initiatives (like childcare facilities, prevention of dismissal of employees during pregnancy) or tackling factors of impoverishment.  

Generally, the draft report focuses on the social aspect (segregated education, unhealthy living conditions, health care, and geographical isolation) of Roma women and how to strengthen their role and integration into society and their ability to adapt to the changing economic environment (facing persistent joblessness).

Our elected representatives in the European Parliament see employment of Roma women as the best means  of combating  their poverty. A draft report on this subject stresses that the unregulated, insecure, and often semi-legal nature of many Roma women’s work leaves them unprotected against exploitation.