“On European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the memory of the hundreds of thousands Roma victims of the Holocaust and reaffirm our efforts and commitment to building a union of equality. We recall that the freedom we enjoy today carries a responsibility and requires action. Europe has a duty to protect its minorities from racism and discrimination.
As the number of survivors and witnesses of these horrors dwindles, it is our duty, now more than ever, to continue their remembrance and pass on their testimonies. That is why Holocaust education remains a cornerstone in building resilience and advancing lasting efforts to fight antigypsyism, antisemitism, bias and hatred.
The gruesome history of the Holocaust demands us to shape and implement a comprehensive system of protection against discrimination which enables the respect of human dignity and fundamental rights for everyone in the European Union. This is why the Commission once again calls on all Member States to commit to our EU Roma Strategic Framework for equality, inclusion and participation. Together, we must counter and eliminate antigypsyism in all its forms!”.
In 2015, the European Parliament declared 2 August as the annual European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate the 500,000 European Roma murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe, who represented at least a quarter of their total population at that time.The European Commission and EU Member States have committed to work against antigypsyism as part of the EU Roma Strategic Framework, adopted in 2020, and the Council Recommendation on Roma. The framework sets out a comprehensive three-pillar approach: equality with all other members of society, social and economic inclusion, and participation in political, social, economic and cultural life. A first assessment report of the Member States' National Roma Strategic Frameworks was adopted on 9 January 2023.
As stressed in the 2023 Commission assessment report, several Member States have included measures to promote Roma history and culture in their national Roma strategies. These measures vary from facilitating dialogue to recognising past injustices and engaging in reconciliation processes, to developing and introducing specific elements in curricula and textbooks, commemoration ceremonies of the Roma Holocaust on the 2 August.
To raise awareness about the Roma Holocaust, the Commission has extended its global campaign #ProtectTheFacts, implemented together with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), UNESCO and the United Nations, to also include the perspective of Romani people.
As part of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme, the European Commission provides EU funding to support projects on European Remembrance. A particular priority will be given to projects that aim to strengthen Holocaust remembrance, education and research or combat Holocaust denial and distortion. More details here.
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- Publication date
- 1 August 2023
- Representation in Cyprus