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Hussam Hussein
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Hi and thanks for visiting my profile :) My name is Hussam, I'm a blogger-researcher-journalist, member of the European Youth Press’ Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC). I studied in Italy (Trieste/Gorizia), England (SOAS, London), and Poland (College of Europe). Academically, my background is mainly in Diplomacy and International Relations, with a focus on Environment. My interests are climate change, water, development and international cooperation.


Brussels and the Gipsy!

Published 26th July 2010 - 15 comments - 1779 views -

Dear bloggers,

I have just seen an interesting news that could answer the question that some of you made commenting my post 

What the EU is doing for the Roma population, especially after the 2004 and 2007 enlargement of the EU?

Well, the European Parliament has approved a proposal of the European Commission that makes possible to use EU regional funds to improve housing for marginalized communities, such as the Roma population, estimated around 10-12 million people in Europe.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, says concerning the decision: "I welcome this decision, which will allow regional policy to help to break the vicious circle in which these communities seem to be trapped. This should be part of an overall approach covering also actions in the fields of education, health, social affairs and employment."

It has to be noted that the amendment is explicitly but not exclusively targeted to the Roma population. this amendment refers both to teh rural and to the urban areas and covers the replacement of existing houses as well as the construction of new ones, but only if implemented by public authorities.


I believe that this is a good signal from the EU in this way. Well done, Brussels!

Category: Poverty | Tags:


  • Hussam Hussein on 27th July 2010:

    Does any one else have any interesting policy towards the Roma population?

  • Hanna Clarys on 27th July 2010:

    Great, but at the same time, this very day in Belgium…: a gipsy community (not Roma, but that doesn’t matter, does it) has been forced to leave the field where they wanted to be staying for a few weeks AND have been prosecuted just because they were there. They are now leaving and trying to find another place to stay.

    Improve housing is great - respecting the fact that some of them do not want housing (after all, they ARE gipsies) is better.

  • Luan Galani on 27th July 2010:

    @Hussam, nice initial attitude from Brussels, indeed. Let us see how it will be managed, regarding the Roma population.

    @Hanna, you do have a point. As far as it is concerned, the EU has a lot to improve its respect.

  • Hussam Hussein on 28th July 2010:

    @Hanna and Luan: that’s a good point. However, I think it’s not only a matter of the EU, but also in many other parts of the world there is the same problems. For the governments is often difficult to accept the presence of people that prefer not to have a house, therefore without a permanent address, and a permanent residence.

  • Hussam Hussein on 28th July 2010:


    I have just received a private comment from a French friend of mine, and I would like to share it with you:

    I just read your article on Brussels and Roma Population, you should have a look at the current polemical in France about it, there’s a specail meeting at the Elysees today on that issue, huge debate between left and right and even within the right side….

  • Luan Galani on 28th July 2010:

    Thanks for this update, Hussam. Very important to be watchful on it.

  • Hussam Hussein on 29th July 2010:

    Glad that you liked it Luan! wink

  • Hussam Hussein on 29th July 2010:
    Sarkozy under fire for his position on the Roma community

  • Luan Galani on 29th July 2010:

    Personally, I’ve never put up with Mr. Sarkozy - only his beautiful Italian singer smile - kidding!.

    Seriously though, it outrages his nation, Europe as a whole and us! Palpably clear, it shows how much we have ahead of us to do.

    Sarkozy is out of his mind…

  • Hussam Hussein on 30th July 2010:

    Yeah, especially, I would say, the principles and the values of the EU, of Schengen for instance… Eu citizens, as gipsy and Roma are, are supposed to move freely within the EU…

  • Guy Degen on 30th July 2010:

    Thanks for this post Hussam. It’s an important development discussion for Europe.

    By coincidence I’m in southern France at the moment (though my command of French is appalling!).

    These new policies of the French government aimed at Roma seem to be knee jerk reactions and ill conceived. Remind me not to buy an SUV or to rent one in France.

    Exchanges between French and Romanian police are fine, but not if police colleagues swap ideas such as “stop and search” based on racial profiling. What about something far more meaningful such as encouraging Roma to join police and emergency services and help break down discrimination? Hungarian police have made a small start in this direction.

    The European Roma Right Centre in Budapest points out that the Mr Sarkozy’s plans: “reinforces discriminatory perceptions about Roma and Travellers and inflames public opinion against them.”

    As for the EC, yes, regional funding is indeed a positive signal, but ultimately we have to look at actions and results not words.

  • Hussam Hussein on 03rd August 2010:


    France presses Romania on Roma question

    Today @ 09:26 CET

    France’s Europe minister, Pierre Lellouche, pressed Romania to tackle the question of “integration” of Roma communities on Monday.

    He softened his tone from a week before by underscoring that all European states had a responsibility in which he laid the blame for France’s troubles with the community on Bucharest alone. However, he still stressed that this common responsibility “starts with the countries of origin” of Roma migrants.

    France is saying that the Roma question must be dealt with within a European framework, but starting with the countries of origin (Photo: European Commission)
    Comment article
    “Everyone must mobilise. The responsibility for integration is first on the country of origin,” he said following a government meeting, reports AFP.

    He added however that France and other countries “have a responsibility in terms of assistance and support,” and that Roma integration must be done “within the framework of European law.”

    Mr Lellouche also said that he welcomed the creation of a Romanian government ministerial post dedicated to Roma integration, a “one-stop shop” with whom Paris could deal on the question of expelling gypsies and returning them to the eastern EU member state.

    The establishment of such a post has long been demanded by the French government.

    He also suggested that EU development funds delivered to Romania be used for dealing with the Roma question.

    The EU’s “massive financial transfers ... also apply to [Romania’s] minorities,” he continued.

    “You cannot have on the one hand financial transfers from west to east and minority transfers in which issues are not addressed by the east in the west,” he said.

    Last week, Mr Lellouche publicly chastised Bucharest for its dealings with the Roma community.

    He accused the Romanian authorities of not living up to promises regarding the matter and that France had reservations about the country’s scheduled accession to the European borderless zone, Schengen, in 2011.

    The comments come after France announced it is to destroy 300 Roma encampments, half of the some 600 that exist in the country, round up their occupants and deport them to Romania.

  • Hussam Hussein on 03rd August 2010:

    I found interesting the words of the French Prime Minister… please have a look!

  • Luan Galani on 03rd August 2010:

    Simply shocking! So much discrimination being traded freely. It is downright insulting, especially coming from the EU, a region steeped in long traditions of democracy and human rights. Perhaps, this huge monster may be sinking with its old values and inaugurating brand new traditions?

    Such attitudes fuelled many spooky things in a past not that far away. I can’t believe that the EU would sink to such depths.

    Guy said all on this revolting topic.

  • Hussam Hussein on 03rd August 2010:

    Thanks Luan for your comment. Exactly, I think we could link this post with the world and the EU should do something in order to fight discrimination…

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