8 April 2021 The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addresses the celebration of International Roma Day

8 April 2021 The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addresses the celebration of International Roma Day

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Dacic Congratulates International Roma Day

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic spoke at the event International Roma Day – 50 Years of Roma Activism in the World, saying that the state of Serbia invests a lot of effort into constantly improving the position of Roma in the country in which it closely cooperates with, first and foremost, National Council of the Roma National Minority, as well as other Roma organisations.


Dacic stressed how pleased he was to have the opportunity to discuss the position of Roma in Serbia, especially today, on this solemn occasion as we celebrate the International Roma Day and half a century of Roma activism in the world.

"First of all, I want to congratulate all Roma on their International Day, which is also a reminder of the first World Roma Congress, held in London in 1971, taken as the beginning of the Roma activism we pay due respect to today", said Dacic.

He went on to point out that the Roma are still one of the most vulnerable social groups in terms of economic status, housing, education and healthcare, as well as, unfortunately, in terms of their basic civil rights.

"Unfortunately, the Roma are still subject to discrimination in all its forms, as seen in numerous national and international reports, although, even without them, each of us can witness the discrimination which the Roma are exposed to," said Dacic, adding that the inclusion process is progressing, though not at the pace we would all like to see.

As he said, at the state level, we have all the decisions necessary to conduct this process successfully, adding that, first of all, the social inclusion of Roma men and women is recognised as one of the priorities of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in key strategic documents concerning the European integration process.

"We also have a Government Strategy for the social inclusion of Roma men and women by 2025. However, we still cannot be satisfied with the results, especially when it comes to the economic strengthening of the Roma, and education and housing incentives", said Dacic.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE SPEECH OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IN ITS ENTIRETY:

"Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear guests,

I would like to welcome you to the National Assembly and especially to this public hearing dedicated to the position of Roma in Serbia. As you know, the National Assembly attaches great importance to public hearings, as a mode of operation of the parliament, we have with increasing frequency, covering all important issues of interest for our citizens and their effect has so far been palpable.

Public hearings, like today's, raise some important issues that may not get enough exposure in our daily legislative work, but in this format, with the participation of representatives of the legislative and executive branches, independent regulatory bodies, civil society organizations and international institutions, we all have a great opportunity to launch initiatives and address problems of interest to all of us.

That is why I am pleased that today we have the opportunity to discuss the position of Roma in Serbia, and as we celebrate the International Roma Day and half a century of Roma activism in the world. First of all, I want to congratulate all Roma on their International Day, which is also a reminder of the first World Roma Congress, held in London in 1971, taken as the beginning of the Roma activism we pay due respect to today.

I hope that you share my impression that the state of Serbia is investing a lot of effort into the constant improvement of the position of Roma in our country in which it closely cooperates with, first and foremost, National Council of the Roma National Minority, as well as other Roma organisations. But at the same time, I am sure that we can all agree here that the position of the Roma in our society is still unsatisfactory and that well all need to invest a lot of work and time to really be able to say that we are satisfied.

Roma are still one of the most vulnerable social groups in terms of economic status, housing, education and healthcare, as well as, unfortunately, in terms of their basic civil rights. Unfortunately, the Roma are still subject to discrimination in all its forms, as seen in numerous national and international reports, although, even without them, each of us can witness the discrimination which the Roma are exposed to.

The process of inclusion is progressing, though not at the pace we would all like to see. At the state level, we have all the decisions necessary to conduct this process successfully, adding that, first of all, the social inclusion of Roma men and women is recognised as one of the priorities of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in key strategic documents concerning the European integration process. We also have a Government Strategy for the social inclusion of Roma men and women by 2025. However, we still cannot be satisfied with the results, especially when it comes to the economic strengthening of the Roma, and education and housing incentives.

I am convinced that we will, if we do not find the answers at this public hearing, at least once again strongly encourage addressing the problems at hand. With its authority, the National Assembly would like to inspire the other state institutions, and especially our citizens, to approach the problem of the Roma together, in a way that is even better organised and more decisive. I will personally be a promoter and participant in this action, as much as my authority allows, you can count on it.

Once again, I wish you a happy International Roma Day and success in today's public hearing."


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