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European Commission’s decision to initiate infringement proceedings against Slovakia

April 30th 2015

On 29 April 2015, European Commission gave formal notice that it would start infringement procedures against the Slovak Republic for breach of EU Anti-Discrimination Law in relation to Romani children in schools.

On 29 April 2015, European Commission gave formal notice that it would start infringement procedures against the Slovak Republic for breach of EU Anti-Discrimination Law in relation to Romani children in schools.

The European Commission’s decision was positively acknowledged and supported by the group of European civil society organisations, namely Amnesty International, the European Network Against Racism, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and the Open Society Foundations.

According to the assessments and observations of the Commission and international and national civil society organisations Slovakian Government is failing to adopt appropriate measures that would protect Romani children from ethnical segregation and would enable them to be integrated into the Slovakian schools systems.

The proceedings call into question Slovakia’s compliance with: Article 21 (1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which prohibits discrimination based on any ground such as race or ethnic origin; and the Race Equality Directive (2000/43/EC (RED)) Articles 2.2a, 2.2b, 2.3, 3.1.g, which prohibit discrimination in access to education on the grounds of race or ethnicity.

“Decision by the European Commission against Slovakia is a great milestone for the European Union and its Romani citizens. The Commission’s efforts should not stop here, it should take action against other Member States that breach EU’s Race Equality Directive. This is not only about the Roma. It is about justice and rule of law for all people”, said Zeljko Jovanovic, Director of the Open Society’s Roma Initiatives Office.

You can read official press release here.