Parliament called for more efforts to end discrimination, hate crime and hate speech against Roma people and for 2 August to be recognised as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, to commemorate the Roma genocide in World War II, in a resolution passed on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday 15 April the European Parliament (EP) proposed that European Union Member States recognize 2 August as European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, an occasion for commemorating the suffering that Romani people endured during the Second World War. The EP also called for greater efforts to combat discrimination, hate crimes, and hate speech against Romani people.

MEPs expressed “deep concern at the rise of anti-Gypsyism, as manifested inter alia through anti-Roma rhetoric and violent attacks against Roma in Europe,” according to the the EP website

They also drew attention to the evident fact that intolerance against Romani people in general and their discrimination in education, on the labor market and in access to housing are the main obstacles to the successful inclusion of Romani people in society and that such discrimination directly contravenes EU values.

The EP recognizes the historical fact of the genocide committed during the Second World War against the Romani population and calls on the Member States to do the same. According to estimates, the Nazis, other regimes and their supporters murdered at least half a million Roma.

In some countries more than 80 % of the Romani population was murdered. August 2 has been chosen for historical reasons, as that was the night in 1944 when 2 897 Romani people, most of them children, elders and women, were murdered in the “Gypsy camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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