MEP Lívia Járóka called on Commissioner Reding to enforce EU law and Commissioner Kroes to respect the facts

MEP Lívia Járóka called on Commissioner Reding to enforce EU law and Commissioner Kroes to respect the facts

2012. 02. 16.

Lívia Járóka held a discussion with Viviane Reding Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship about the implementation of the European Framework for national Roma Inclusion Strategies. The strategy was based largely on the EP report drafted by MEP Járóka and adopted during the Hungarian Presidency last year. The document demands Member States to submit their national action plans until the end of 2011 and all countries except four have met this requirement. Járóka and Reding agreed that these Member States had to be urged to submit their strategies and that the upcoming communication of the Commission next spring would be crucial, as it would set the standard for the following annual assessments and must therefore primarily focus on the structural feasibility, financial/budgetary establishment and continuous monitoring of the action plans. Járóka also drew the Vice-President's attention that the Slovakian National Party (SNS) had displayed billboards throughout the country, some captions of which constitute incitement of racial hatred, violating Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on non-discrimination.

Earlier this week MEP Járóka sent a letter to Vice-President Neelie Kroes concerning her statements during the hearing of the EP's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the situation in Hungary. The Commissioner quoted one of her unnamed colleagues stating that in Hungary "discrimination against minorities is rife and getting worse, people from minorities are discriminated against when they seek employment, (…) police is under instruction to monitor minorities, racism in schools is becoming more open and more accepted, and some even live in fear of violent attacks".

"I was shocked to hear such pernicious allusions from the second highest ranking official of the EU without even the slightest attempt to prove them with facts and reliable data, contradicting the criteria to base your concerns on facts, not myths. I believe that such severe and denouncing statements require thorough argumentation and more evidence than simply referring to 'a very talented web entrepreneur, one of your young advisors on digital matters'. Later during the debate, I had the opportunity to reflect on the situation of Hungarian Roma – also as a member of the community in question – but the aspects I raised went unnoticed. Furthermore, you referred once again to your mysterious source of information and offered that after the debate, within calmer conditions you are ready to further discuss the situation. I find this conduct absolutely unethical, since European citizens did thus hear about the accusations, but will be excluded from their plausible rebuttal" – Járóka wrote in her letter.