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“NO! to Antigypsyism, YES! to the Roma

In celebration of the 8 April – International Roma Day, the joint programmes of the European Union and the Council of Europe, “ROMACTED – Phase II” and “Roma Integration – Phase III”, organised a cultural event titled "No to Antigypsyism, Yes to the Roma."

The event, held on April 7th in Skopje City Park, featured educational sessions on the significance of International Roma Day, the importance of Roma culture and tradition, and the integration of Roma as an added value to the EU accession process. Oleg Soldatov, Head of the Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Skopje, and Ben Nupnau, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Skopje, opened the event with their remarks.


Oleg Soldatov emphasised that: “while celebrating, it's crucial to reflect on the ongoing challenges faced by the Roma community. Discrimination, marginalization, and social exclusion persist in many parts of the world, denying Roma individuals and families the dignity and opportunities they deserve. International Roma Day serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address these challenges and work towards a future where every member of the Roma community can thrive and fulfill their potential”.,

According to Ben Nupnau, this event provided an important platform for Roma to voice their grievances regarding their treatment in their respective countries. It demonstrated their unity against centuries-long marginalisation and segregation, and their demand for equal opportunities and rights. It underscored the Roma community's aspiration for a Europe and a world without discrimination on any grounds, which is one of the main goals of the EU.

The event featured several musical performances showcasing the rich treasury of Romani culture. The innovative performance by the Roma Rock School band highlighted the community's potential to engage with and contribute to contemporary societal trends.

During the event, visitors had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the work and experiences of the Council of Europe and our partners (UNHCR, REDI, Roma Resource Center, Barikanipe, Roma Women's Initiative from Suto Orizari, Romalitico, Luludi, Roma for Democracy) in the process of advancing the protection of human rights in various areas for the Roma community such as employment, housing, civil registration, health, and other related fields.

This event was organised under the auspices of the ROMACTED Phase II and Roma Integration Phase III Joint Programmes, co-financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. Both, EU and Council of Europe are working together towards a world where the rights and aspirations of the Roma people are realised, and where every individual is empowered to contribute fully to society.


Skopje, North Macedonia 8 April 2024
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