ENAR Weekly Mail 6

5 August 2005



·      CLAE: New expulsions of refused asylum seekers ENAR member CLAE (Comité de Liaison et d’Action des Etrangers) issued a press release in which it clarifies its position with regard to a new wave of expulsion of refused asylum seekers in Luxemburg. For more information, contact Gualter Verissimo at CLAE: gualter.verissimo@clae.lu


·      ENAR Germany: Position paper ahead of German parliamentary elections

ENAR Germany (Netz gegen Rassismus, für gleiche Rechte) produced a position paper entitled “Bundestagswahl 2005 - Anforderungen an die künftige Bundespolitik” in which it sets out some of the racism and discrimination-related issues that the network is putting to political parties standing for election in September, for their comments and position. If you are interested in reading the paper (available in German only), please contact Simone Wiegratz, aric@aric.de




·      Intensified anti-Muslim backlash in the UK

Muslim organisations monitoring attacks report that the numbers are increasing rapidly. According to the Islamic Human Rights Commission they have risen thirteen-fold since the attacks in London on 7 July. The Muslim Safety Forum reports that 'faith-related' attacks in London have risen by 500% since the same period last year.

Read more


·      UK Presidency priorities: Anti-terrorism policy

After the suicide bombing attacks on London in July 2005, anti-terrorism has become the absolute top priority for the UK Presidency and for Europe. The EU anti-terrorism policy, in place since the 2001 US attacks and extended after the 2004 bombings in Madrid, is being stepped up to come fully into place as soon as possible.

Read more in English // in French


·      The future of social policy in an enlarged EU

At the end of 2002, a high-level panel of social and labour experts was asked to find a way forward for social policy in an enlarging European Union. Their report demonstrates how the European social model can maintain its central place in a functioning market economy. Read more (English only) // Read the Report of the High-Level Group on the future of social policy in an enlarged European Union.


·      New action plan to improve communication

On 20 July the EC approved an Action Plan to improve its capacity to communicate European policies. The new approach is based on three principles:

-       Not just to inform EU citizens, but also to listen to them and take their views into account.

-       Communicating how EU policies affect citizens' everyday life and what added value they bring.

-       Connecting by going local, i.e. by adapting messages to audiences in each member state and conveying them through the channels those audiences prefer, in the language they understand.

The Action Plan proposes 50 concrete actions, including a better coordination of communication activities across the EC and a better use of those communication tools people prefer, especially internet and audiovisual services. The EC will soon publish a white paper setting the initiatives to be implemented in the medium and long-term.

Read the Action Plan: in English // in French


·      EESC: Opinion on the Communication from the Commission on the Social Agenda

On 13 July, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted this Opinion on the Social Agenda 2006-2010, at the request of the European Commission. Read the opinion in English // in French




·      Resolution on the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination policies in an enlarged Europe

MEP Claude Moraes (Chair of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup) wrote this resolution, which was passed in the LIBE Committee and was voted in the Plenary on 8 June 2005. Read the resolution in English // in French (provisional edition)


·      Equal opportunities and treatment of men and women: employment and occupation

The report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation was adopted in its first reading (co-decision procedure). The report, written by MEP Angelika Niebler), aims at putting together and harmonising different directives on equal opportunities and treatment for men and women in matters of employment and occupation, but also seeks to make some substantial changes and improvements, for example on parental leave and the reconciliation of working and family life.

Read more in English // in French



·      UNHCR: Refugees are not terrorists

In his first press conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has urged the international community to make a clear distinction between refugees and terrorists while stressing UNHCR's commitment to protecting both refugees and internally displaced people.

Read more


·      Roma Rights 2/2005: Rights and Traditions

The ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) Quarterly Journal Roma Rights 2/2005 focuses on Roma rights and traditions. It includes, amongst other issues, articles on child marriages, human trafficking, challenging taboos, Roma and Egyptians in Albania, … Read the Quarterly Journal


·      ERRC: Bulgarian Courts continue to move against racial discriminators

In a judgment based on Bulgaria’s comprehensive anti-discrimination law, a court in southwestern Bulgaria has ruled against a local restaurant for having denied its services to Roma customers. The court found the refusal of services to constitute discrimination, and ordered the business to abstain from repeating such conduct. The claim was brought by the ERRC, which made use of a provision of Bulgaria’s Protection Against Discrimination Act authorising public interest lawsuits by NGOs where discrimination has infringed the rights of many individuals. Read more


·      From Genocide to Anti-Gypsyism?

More than 60 years after the gassing of 2898 Romani men, women, and children at Auschwitz, on 2 August 1944, anti-Gypsyism continues to receive little or no attention from European governments. ERIO (the European Roma Information Office) suggests that 2 August should be a day of reflection for the European public, opinion-makers and mass media about the dangers of anti-Gypsyism and racism in general. It is unacceptable to isolate, exclude and blame Roma for the obvious failures of policies made to forcibly assimilate them; it is unacceptable to publish racist materials in mass media and shameful to justify it from an economic point of view. Read ERIO’s article ‘Third class attention for third class genocide victims?

Also read Dzeno’s press release ‘The Eradication of Lives Undeserving of Life


·      Forced evictions of Roma communities in Greece

For the second time since the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) found Greece in violation of the European Social Charter for systematically frustrating the rights of Roma to adequate housing - a decision made public less than two months ago - an NGO coalition has appealed to the Greek authorities to cease and desist from forcibly expelling Roma from their housing because housing rights abuses of Roma continue apace in Greece. In a letter sent on 29 July to the mayor of Athens, nine NGOs urged Greek authorities to withdraw plans to forcibly evict approximately 70 Albanian Roma families currently living in squalid conditions in three communities in the area of Votanikos, Athens, and to undertake measures to ensure their adequate housing. No plans to avoid their homelessness had been made available.

Download the letter (English only)


Earlier, on 21 June, eight NGOs were compelled to undertake joint action after 15 Romani families living in the Riganokampos settlement in Patras were served with eviction orders on 16 June. Patras has been the scene of repeated and regular forced evictions of Roma since at least 2001. Download the letter (English only)

Read ERRC’s press release ‘No End Yet to Housing Rights Abuses in Greece


·      South Serbia Roma Face Bleak Future

Jobless and shunned by both Albanians and Serbs, the Roma of Bujanovac have nothing to look forward to. Read the full article (English only)

·      Czech tolerance campaign to feature Roma superstars

The Czech government is planning to feature popular young Roma figures in an upcoming public awareness campaign against racism. Read more (English only)




·      2005 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Date and venue: 19-30 September 2005, Warsaw

At this annual OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) meeting, organized by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), representatives of governments and civil society from the 55 participating States will review both the implementation of the OSCE’s Human Dimension commitments and the procedures and mechanisms for monitoring and enhancing compliance with these commitments. It is worth noting that NGOs, governments, and other participants may organize their own side events on relevant Human Dimension issues, allowing participants to discuss issues not fully covered during the working sessions.

The schedule of the meeting and other information are available on the ODIHR website. All NGOs interested in participating in the meeting are requested to complete the on-line Registration Form by 31 August 2005.


·      Bridging Cultures and Identities

Date and venue: 11-15 November 2005, Cyprus

The EU enlargement caused new divides in Europe, creating psychological and physical barriers where they didn't exist before. How to deal with the new situation, how to manage the new forms of migration, the development from national identity to European identity, all these questions will be approached from different perspectives, trying to formulate solutions, at the upcoming UNITED for Intercultural Action conference in Cyprus. The conference will provide participants with an opportunity to understand the new context they are living in, by sharing their approach to the problems they are facing. This will give them the possibility to open a dialogue and to exchange examples of good practice in the struggle against discrimination.

Read more (English only)


·      International Forum: Democracy at the Crossroads? Counter-terrorism and the state

Date and venue: 29-30 September 2005, Prato (Italy)

Organiser: NCAS, National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University

In the few years since the terrorist attacks in the United States, democratic nations around the world have faced a great challenge - to respond to global terrorism within the bounds of the rule of law and with regard for international human rights principles. This international forum will convene a number of lawyers, academics, public commentators and policy makers in a critical analysis of important issues impacting upon a healthy democracy. Forum delegates will have the opportunity to engage with the fundamental question of whether in the context of the 'war on terror', a national security imperative has compromised the democratic state.

For more information, visit the NCAS website (Enlgish only) or contact Sara Cousins,

Conference Manager, sara.cousins@arts.monash.edu.au




·      Conference on racism, violence and human rights

Organiser: The Monitoring Group

Date and venue: 27-28 October 2005, London, UK

This national conference offers a unique opportunity to discuss and debate policies and practice on tackling racism, violence and promoting human rights. The conference will for the first time bring together a broad range of key eminent speakers and practitioners who have been championing the cause of tackling racism over recent years. Read more (English only)




·      Website on the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights

This website is a dynamic guide to the history and development of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, proclaimed in December 2000 and incorporated as Part Two of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe on 18 June 2004. The website sets out in clear and precise language what the EU Charter is all about, and lists all the articles that the EU Charter contains, supported by detailed commentary, relevant case-law, articles and links. Access the website (English only)




·      Mapping study on existing national legislative measures – and their impact in - tackling discrimination outside the field of employment and occupation on the grounds of sex, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation

The main purpose of this contract will be to provide the European Commission with independent and authoritative information on national measures to combat discrimination in fields where Community legislation has not been introduced such as: social protection (including social security), social services and advantages, education, and access to and supply of goods and services. It will also look at the application and impact of existing anti-discrimination legislation.

Read more in English // in French