ENAR Weekly Mail 21

18 November 2005



      Belgium: Immigrants to start paying for own integration course

Flemish Integration Minister Marino Keulen is drawing up new integration legislation in which immigrant students will need to personally pay for their courses. Employment Minister Frank Vandenbroucke is also moving to significantly boost the means with which employer associations can stimulate the recruitment of immigrant workers. Read more


      Czech Republic: Government campaign spotlights successful minorities

This yearís government campaign ìTogether Against Racismî presents successful people from ethnic minorities and foreigners living in the Czech Republic, and not victims of racial attacks, the campaign creators and government representatives said. The sixth government campaign against racism is to support mutual tolerance and help remove prejudices against minorities and foreigners in Czech society. Read more


      Cyprus: ëWe want to celebrate that we have foreigners, not view it as a curseí

Over 300 complaints relating to anti-discrimination have been filed at the Cyprus Anti-Discrimination Body in the Ombudsmanís office since its creation in May 2004. According to the Ombudswoman, many of the complaints come from foreign workers and asylum seekers, as well as from certain marginalised groups of Greek Cypriots such as homosexuals and the handicapped. Read more (on the site, go to ìSearch Archives by dateî: 11 November 2005)


      England and Wales: CPS publishes latest racist and religious crime data

According to a recent report, the Crown Prosecution Service (responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales) prosecuted 4,660 defendants for racially aggravated offences between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2005. This has risen by 29% over 2003 - 2004. The conviction rate for all offences charged was 84% compared to 86% in 2003 - 2004. Read more

Also read Commission for Racial Equalityís reaction to the figures.


      Events in France

ÿ    A selection of statements and press releases by French organisations (in French):

o      ìNo to the state of emergencyî (8 november) ñ joint statement (in English, translation by Statewatch)

o      ìUrban violence ñ State of emergency. The suburbs, real urgenciesî (13 November) ñ joint statement

o      ìPolygamy ñ Famliy reunification. Foreigners are not the target (16 November) ñ statement by LDH (Ligue des Droits de líHomme)

o      The MRAP, Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour líAmitiÈ entre les Peuples, also issued several statements: http://www.mrap.asso.fr/communiques/

ÿ    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has offered France 50 million euros to deal with the aftermath of recent rioting. In an interview on 13 November, he said that the money could be used to help tackle the problem of unemployment among the young, widely seen as a major factor in the outbreaks of rioting in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities. Read more

ÿ    ìThe French could borrow a bit of our pragmatismî - Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in the UK, contrasts the different integration models in France and the UK in an interview with Le Monde of 12 November. Read the Le Monde article or an English summary


      Slovakia: A murder wakes up a nation

ÿ    Thousands of people have joined anti-fascist marches following the murder on the night of 4 November of a young white Slovak by suspected neo-Nazis. Anti-racism campaigners say the killing has finally brought home to Slovaks the danger from extremist right-wing groups. Read more

ÿ    Interior Minister Vladimir Palko sacked two police officers because they failed to ensure sufficient order and take resolute police action after the latest wave of neo-Nazis attacks that have broken out lately in several places in Slovakia. Read more


      UK: Minority ethnic groups break through the class barrier ñ with exceptions

According to recent research conducted for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, younger generations from many of Britainís minority ethnic groups are succeeding in breaking through the class barrier. Educational achievements have helped children of working-class parents in the Caribbean, African, Indian and Chinese communities to obtain managerial and professional jobs at a faster rate than their white counterparts. Read more




      Commission's top management reshuffle

On 9 November, the Commission announced the nomination of 17 Directors-General in a complicated reshuffle. Catherine Day (Ireland) has been given the top position as the new Secretary General of the Commission. Odile Quintin (France) of DG Social moves to DG Education and current DG Education, Klaus van der Pas (Germany), takes her place at DG Social. Read the EC press release and EurActiv article


      Lifelong learning and key competences for all: vital contributions to prosperity and social cohesion

A Communication approved by the Commission on 10 November concludes that Member States must accelerate the pace of reform in their education and training systems, or large proportions of the next generation will face social exclusion. Read more: in English // in French

      European Court of Human Rights backs Turkish headscarf ban in universities

On 10 November, the court rejected an appeal by a Turkish woman who argued that the state ban violated her right to an education and discriminated against her. Leyla Sahin had brought the case in 1998 after being excluded from class at Istanbul University. But the judges ruled that the ban was justified to maintain order and avoid giving preference to any religion. Read more: in English // in French




      Roma Reporting Programme ìSeeing the Roma without prejudiceî

The Media Diversity Institute (MSDI) Roma Reporting Programme is organised in partnership with BETA News Agency, Belgrade. Articles are produced by BETA correspondents based throughout the Balkan region. The articles touch Roma-related topics with a special focus on Roma decade issues. They aim to present a fairer, more balanced view of Roma as a means to overcoming suspicion and segregation. Read more on the Roma Reporting Programme.

Below you will find the links to two of the Programmeís articles:

ÿ    A Housing Success Story in Sarajevo

One street separates the plush Sarajevo district of Ciglana from the Roma settlement of Gorica, but in reality there is little difference between the two. On both sides lie large, beautiful houses. No garbage, mud or sewers flowing into the street are visible. Read more

ÿ    Operation ìBeggarî

Jasmina is 10 and does not know that the Interior Ministry of the Western Herzegovina canton has launched Operation Beggar, a campaign that aims to clamp down on panhandling and vagrancy. Her life, which consists of harsh physical abuse at home and begging in the streets of Sarajevo, will, however, be affected by the initiative. The Roma child approaches a car waiting for the traffic lights to change and does what she has been forced to do many hundreds of times each day. Read more


      Bulgarian court fines employer for denying access to employment to Roma

With ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) support, a young Romani man has won a judgment by the Sofia District court, finding that the refusal of a private business to hire him constituted direct discrimination based on his ethnicity. The court has awarded him the full amount of compensation he sought for non-pecuniary damages. The ruling, which is based on the Protection Against Discrimination Act, Bulgaria's comprehensive antidiscrimination law, is the first to find discrimination by inference, in accordance with the special rule of the shifting burden of proof in discrimination cases. Read more


      Czech Republic: First court victory in Central Europe on coercive sterilisation of Romani women

The District Court in Ostrava on 11 November indicated that it would find violations of law concerning the coercive sterilization of Ms. Helena Ferencikova by Czech medical practitioners in 2001. Once issued in writing, the decision will be the first finding by any court in Central and Eastern Europe of violations of law concerning the coercive sterilization of Romani women. Read more


      George Soros to propose plan to improve Romany situation in CZ

American philanthropist George Soros (Open Society Institute) may submit to the Czech government a plan for the improvement of the situation and life of the Romany minority, using certain plans that succeeded in Hungary and Romania. Read more


      Roma in Belarus

ìThe most negative one is when the equal sign is put between the words Roma and lawbreaker. It's a pity, but the official mass media and representatives of power bodies treat us this way,î says Nicolas Kalinin, chairman of Belarus Roma organization Ekhipe (Unity). Read more




      EUMC report: The impact of 7 July 2005 London bomb attacks on Muslim Communities in the EU  

On 10 November the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) released a report analysing events in the UK and elsewhere in the EU in the aftermath of the 7 July London bomb attacks and their impact on the EUís Muslim communities. The report examines government and police responses to the events, the reaction from Muslim communities, media reporting, and the possibility of an anti-Muslim backlash, in the EU and in the UK in particular. Read more and download the report


      Anti-discrimination law: the 25 Member States compared

The European Commissionís Network of Legal Experts in non-discrimination has issued a new comparative analysis of anti-discrimination laws in the 25 EU Member States ñ drawing on the comprehensive country reports it has already produced. The report compares and contrasts the different national laws, identifying trends and common aspects in implementation of the two Directives. By considering each of the different grounds of discrimination in turn and collectively, it provides a comprehensive overview of national legislation to combat discrimination across the EU. The 96-page report is available in English, French and German


      Remedies and sanctions in EC non-discrimination law

The expertís network has also published a new report examining the concept of ìeffective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctionsî ñ and what it means for the implementation of the Race and Employment Equality Directives. As a background, the report discusses the development and meaning of the concept in EC sex equality law (where it has its historic origin) and in general EC law. It then turns to requirements under international human rights law. Finally, it discusses remedies and sanctions in the specific framework of the EU Directives, as well as upper limits on compensation. The 52-page report is currently available in English. French and German versions will be available shortly.


      Toolbox: Towards a Discrimination-free and Diverse Workplace!

The ìFor Diversity. Against Discriminationî toolbox gives practical assistance on how employers can implement diversity policies and avoid discrimination in their companies. Moreover, it provides information about the new EU rules against discrimination in the EU Member States. Used as an assistant tool in seminars and workshops, the comprised material is an excellent instrument to encourage dialogue and diversity within the world of work. Read more

To order the toolbox, please mail to toolbox@media-consulta.com.




      Community action programme to support bodies working in the field of active European citizenship

The European Commissionís DG for Education and Culture published a call for an ìAnnual work programme of a body which pursues an aim of general European interest in the field of active European citizenship or an objective forming part of the European Union's activities in this areaî. For more information: in English // in French

For these and other funding calls, go to ENARís website: http://www.enar-eu.org/en/funding/calls.shtml




      2005 "For Diversity. Against Discrimination." Journalist Award open for entries!

The EU Journalist Award 2005 of the ìFor Diversity. Against Discriminationî campaign is calling all print, online and photo journalists in the 25 EU Member States to submit articles and photos on the subject of combating discrimination and promoting diversity in employment. The EU finalists can look forward to winning a trip to an EU country of their choice. The deadline for entries is 31 December 2005. For more details please click here.

      MTV and European Union put Diversity in the Picture

The EU-campaign ëFor Diversity. Against Discriminationí has teamed up with the worldís largest Youth Channel, MTV Europe, to create a competition looking for the best photograph of human diversity. For information about the contest and how to take part please visit the contest website at www.mtv.tv/eudiversity