Category: IRU News

Open Letter to the Head of European Commission

Open Letter of The President of IRU and the Cabinet to the Head of European Commission.
Subject: Current Roma policies within EU and the implementation of the Programme

Honorable Mr. Juncker
Today there are about 20 million Roma in Europe. Whilst the report for the LIBE Committee from December 2015 identifies many good practise points in the treatment of Roma issues in different countries, some of the basic understandings about Roma way of life, mentality and particularities are overlooked, although some serious funds are spent every year on addressing the problems of Roma. This is also due to the fact that 27 Member States have their own programs with regards to Roma, which differ cardinally.
Currently, there is no clear unified strategy within EU which could lead to the improvement of the overall situation. There is a genuine desire to assimilate Roma into the modern society employing social mechanisms, addressing the education and employment issues. However, a better understanding of Roma philosophy of life can lead to significant improvement in the interaction with them, integration and coexistence.
Roma communities traditionally lived in unities of family clans – so called Tabors. The core structure of a Tabor can be described as socialistic. The elders are the authority and the judges for the people. The worst that can happen is the ostracising of a person from the Tabor. This comes to show how non-violent is the philosophy of Roma. This is very important to understand – the situation for a Roma national in which he/she does not belong to a Tabor is a non-desirable one. We see that it is very important to make sure a Roma person will see the reality of belonging to the EU community. Dangers of having Roma “roaming free” without a centralised authority are losing them to various marginal elements, including some religious groups attracting and using them in order to increase their influence. Most Roma people do not trust the banking system, using cash for buying most goods and services. Interestingly enough, this is not entirely up to the lack of education, as many of Roma nationals become good businessmen and artisans, and still the cash economy is more preferable for them due to the lack of trust in the social and economic system.
International Romani Union and its President, Normunds Rudevics, propose to become partners of the Strategy 2020, to contribute to it in dealing with Roma issues, creating a constructive collaboration.
IRU is ready to present to the European Commission a Program of Integration of Roma in the EU, with deep understanding of the factors mentioned above. IRU is ready to act as a moderator for the programmes in support of Roma and to serve as a direct link between the Roma Desk at the European Commission and the local Roma leaderships in every Member state.

Sincerely yours Dr. Normunds Rudevics The President of IRU

The visit of the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Roma Art and History Museum and the meeting with the President of IRU.

The Ambassador of United States of America, Mrs Nancy Bikoff Pettit has visted the Roma Cultural Center on the 16th of February 2016. After the tour of the Museum the Ambassador attended presentation of the activities and strategic plans of the International Romani Union. The subjects of the meeting included the programme of passports for Roma, the programme of employment – Tabor of the 21st century, the programme of commemoration of Roma Holocaust, as well as the possibilities of supporting the International Romani Culture Festival – Roma World, planned for 18 – 21 August 2016 in Jurmala and Riga. Collaboration between the Embassy and IRU were discussed as well.

EVZ Foundation. Board of Trustees meeting.

EVZ Foundation has held its Board of Trustees meeting in Berlin. Dr. Normunds Rudevics has joined the Board as representative of International Romani Union.The Board of Trustees approves the report on the development of the new funding programme “Support for Roma survivors of the genocide” for the next 3 years.

Paris terror attacks

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris and France, following the terrible attacks on innocent civilians on the 13th of November. Please accept our deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims.We see these attacks as an assault on the free world, on civilization, on everything we consider human. Our hope is that these hard times are to make us stronger in unity against barbarism, terror and fundamentalism all over the planet. Roma people are with you.”

Dr. Normunds Rudevics, The President of Romani Union


Office of the President of IRU Dr. Normunds Rudevičs
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