The National Roma Centrum (NRC) would like to express serious concern in relation to the latest public informing about members of the Roma community as violators of the regulation for visa liberalization.

The public is a witness to many domestic and international initiatives that urge for improving of the condition of the Roma community, but where are the results? What kind and how much improvement can we expect with investments of 300 denars per person, with an army of unemployed persons who due to low level of education are not competitors on the labor market?

The presented image implies wrongful perception and is a complete opposite of the real condition. Namely, further on Roma will be blamed for losing of the benefits from the visa liberalization and represents direct stigmatizing, introducing a system of prejudice and motivation for a high level religious and national hatred and incitement of hate speeches.

“The way in which this is done contradicts the European values on a vast number of international documents for protection of human rights, including urges for inter-ethnic tolerance…everyone has right on free movement…”said Asmet Elezovski, manager of National Roma Centrum.

The European Commission in its reports, does not point out Roma as guilty and responsible for the possible consequences of losing of the benefits of the no visa regime. The directions and emphasis of the European Commission directly point out that the countries in the region due to their own institutional weaknesses, it is necessary to strengthen legal and economic capacities in order to provide good conditions and safe life for all citizens.

The eventual violation of the regulations of the visa liberalization by individuals which was registered by European countries, consequently draws legal repercussions for the violator, however the burden for the failure of state and institutional capacities cannot be placed on an entire community, in this case the Roma community.

NRC would like to recommend a different approach towards this issue and to consider the real aspects and problems in relation to conducting of the non visa regime and to include domestic and European capacities for a larger institutional and economic social inclusion of Roma in the society.

NRC seriously reacts and condemns every hate speech and call upon all authorized institutions to take everything within their power to prevent stigmatization of the members of the Roma community. The saddest consequence from the inappropriate reactions is what makes the dialogue and tolerance impossible and means mutual ignoring. We suddenly forget that we are multicultural citizens who strive towards the EU.

Faced with the visible gap between the members of different ethnic communities in Republic of Macedonia, we need to decide on inclusion, participation and tolerance.