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Published on May 28, 2009
"Hi, my name is Alexia and I'd like to know what Europe is looking at doing to ensure that the rights of Roma people are respected in each of the European Union countries."
"My name is Ivan Ivanov. I'm the executive director of the European Roma Information Office. This is an advocacy organisation working at European level and it's based in Brussels.
"What does the European Union do about the Roma minority in Europe? I would say it doesn't do much, but at the same time I would say it's not nothing, you know?
"For the last several years, the EU did one very important thing: it put the Roma issue in the European agenda.
"A meeting in September, organised under the French Presidency - French EU presidency - and the European Commission, is a clear indication that the Roma issue is already (at a) high level in the political agenda of the EU.
"The adoption of the Race Equality Directive is one very strong tool, a very strong legislation which, if it's used effectively, could protect the Roma minority from racism and discrimination.
"Another plan, which European officials have in the next two or three years, is the establishment of the so-called Roma Integration Platform."