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European Parliament resolution of 5 October 2022 on the situation of Roma people living in settlements in the EU

European Parliament resolution of 5 October 2022 on the situation of Roma people living in settlements in the EU

European Parliament resolution of 5 October 2022 on the situation of Roma people living in settlements in the EU:

Need for action at national level

  1. Deplores the fact that there are still people in the EU without access to safe and decent housing, clean drinking water, electricity, sanitation, sewage and waste treatment facilities, education, employment, healthcare and care services; is deeply concerned by the substantial gap between the declarations and commitments on a strong social Europe and the reality on the ground, also in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the lack of progress in improving access to basic infrastructure during the previous programming period; calls on the Commission and the Member States to urgently address the situation of Roma people living in settlements in a comprehensive and effective manner, with appropriate short- and long-term policies supported by sufficient EU and national funding, in order to ensure Roma in the EU and neighbouring countries are not left behind; highlights the fact that such catastrophic conditions, as well as the negative psychological and sociological impact of segregation, not only affect the people living within the settlements, but also impact the wider community;

Housing

  1. Stresses that access to decent desegregated housing is key to breaking the vicious circle of intergenerational poverty and social exclusion; notes that access to housing is a precondition for human dignity and is closely linked to the full enjoyment of human rights; acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic showed that poor housing conditions represent a systemic risk for the public health system, placing a disproportionate burden on Roma people, especially Roma women; reiterates its call on the Member States to prevent and tackle homelessness and address housing exclusion through long-term solutions such as adequate social housing, affordable rental housing programmes and targeted housing allowances that are part of integrated national strategies with a focus on housing-led and ‘housing first’ approaches guaranteeing citizens’ effective equal access to adequate desegregated housing and essential services without discrimination; calls on the Member States to implement the concept of ‘adequate housing’ for all, including Roma people, as defined by the UN[1]; calls for priority to be given to desegregation approaches utilising or investing in integrated social housing, alongside funding of accessible quality social services and quality field social work involving the consultation and participation of members of the Roma community as a way for Roma to leave settlements; highlights the use of e-pay cards for receiving social welfare benefits accompanied by the necessary digital infrastructure as an additional tool for sound financial management for Roma people living in settlements, to ensure dignified living and the possibility to leverage such benefits to access financial resources, for example through microloans; calls on the Member States to urgently explore their possible use; stresses that e-pay cards can be one of the solutions to address socio-economic problems related to usury, substance abuse and gambling in the settlements;

[1]        Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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