European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Director Morten Kjaerum

Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Nils Muiznieks, Chair, ECRI

Independent Expert on minority issues, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms. Rita Izsák

ODIHR Director Ambassador Janez Lenarcic

ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Andrzej Mirga



This reaction expresses particular concern over the rise of violence and hatred toward Roma in Bulgaria, having in mind that Roma as citizens in EU Member state suffer great damage, loss of human dignity and represent innocent victims. The reality is that we have expansion of extreme violence, hatred and endangered fundamental rights in Bulgaria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. If 6 out of 27 Member states have violent riots and incidents toward Roma citizens, how do they respect, protect and fulfill basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The situation is more than alarming; I hope urgent actions will be from European institutions and dialogue at the highest level, and Roma officially elected representatives – expressed his concerns Mr. Asmet Elezovski.

Roma are no threat to public security and state order, and generalised assumptions of certain groups that Roma represent threat to public security are not enough convincible. Even worse is the fact that ethnic criteria are being used to explain criminal tendencies.

The mission of FRA “Helping to make fundamental rights a reality for everyone in EU”  is not achieved in 6 countries.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in September 2011 issued guidelines – contained in its thirteenth General Policy Recommendation – to the Council of Europe’s 47 member States to fight a rising tide of anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma. All recommendations apply to Bulgaria as well, and should be seriously advocated to be implemented and monitored.

OSCE/ODIHR is not addresses emerging challenges or crisis situations affecting Roma and Sinti, e.g.,by conducting field visits in the wake of crises .

Security must be priority, and now security of European citizens Roma has been endangered Bulgaria as part of European Union. Urgent measures to eliminate and reduce the number of incidents must be applied and international institutions must condemn and publicly urge to stop all forms of violence and to act to support fundamental human rights. Racially motivated extremism is not the way to integration as we all are aware.

But we should be aware that out of 27 in 6 EU Member states Roma citizens are subject to cruel victimization, extremist violence and hatred. Our aim is not to repeat the same questions, but to demand urgent response and solutions!