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"The Roma and Travellers population, long subdued and abused, are today demanding an end to discrimination and insisting on equal treatment as citizens of the countries in which they live. The numerous international and national non-governmental Roma organisations are not only the reflection of a yearning for justice but also proof of the new self-confidence in the struggle for their rights".
Terry Davis, Council of Europe Secretary General
Statement pronounced on the occasion of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, 15 December 2004
"We have a duty to act and help the Roma community to free itself from the social and economic deprivation in which so many of its members continue to live in European countries. Prejudice and discrimination cannot only be talked down, they must be lived down."
Maud de Boer Buquicchio, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General
Statement pronounced on the occasion of the international Roma day, 8 April 2006
"There is no place for racism in a democratic society. Europeans must learn more about Roma, their history and the diversity of their identities.The realisation of Roma inclusion will reinforce everyday democracy and the rule of law. It is the only way to reach a society of substantive equality where everyone has the right to participate and to be heard."
Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner
7 april 2006
"Les représentations à base de préjugés et stéréotypes que se font des Roms ceux qui les entourent sont de la première importance : ce sont ces représentations qui pour une bonne part déterminent les attitudes et les comportements à leur égard. Ces représentations sont le vecteur de connaissance le plus important, et souvent le seul, entre les Roms et leur environnement. Les Roms ne sont pas des inconnus : n’importe quelle personne interrogée exprime une opinion, souvent catégorique, sur eux. En fait ils sont méconnus, ce qui est pire, car la réalité est recouverte par l’imaginaire.
En fait, le Rom est rarement défini tel qu’il est, mais tel qu’il est nécessaire qu’il soit pour des raisons politiques et de comportement à son égard. "
Jean-Pierre Liégeois, extraits from the CoE publication on 40 years of the CoE action in the field of Roma
« LES TSIGANES sont une chance pour nous. Nous voulons mettre le monde dans une boîte, et, eux, ils nous donnent l’imagination et la liberté. "
« Le problème des Tsiganes qui vivent en Europe occidentale m’a toujours intéressée. Je les aime profondément depuis toujours et, depuis toujours, l’injustice me scandalise surtout quand elle est institutionnalisée. »
« Nos communautés occidentales, en Italie et en France, mais aussi en général dans toute l’Europe, sont conformistes et parlent de tolérance. Je déteste le mot « tolérance ». Au fond, c’est un terme péjoratif si on pense : « Nous acceptons ta présence mais à condition que tu te taises ».
« Nos civilisations débordent de certitudes et de dogmes ; elles sont nivelées, politiquement correctes. Cette manière de voir est pernicieuse parce qu’elle élimine les différences, les points de vue multiples sur l’art, l’école, l’éducation. »
« Dans toutes les formes de racisme, les comportements obéissent à la bêtise et à la peur ; et ce n’est pas vrai seulement pour notre génération mais aussi pour celles du passé. La peur est la pire des choses. »
« Mon film tente de décrire ces deux mondes parallèles qui pourraient se rencontrer. »
Extraits from the article of Ms Fanny Ardant, actrice and director, in La Repubblica, 23 may 2010
"Le racisme consiste à attribuer à toute une population la responsabilité d'actes criminels ou des traits de caractère individuels. Si on dit que tel ou tel Italien est un salaud, ce n'est pas du racisme. En revanche, si on dit que tous les Italiens sont des salauds, c'est du racisme."
Moni Ovadia, an actor, in his speech during the meeting of the anti-racists of Europe, Bolzano, 2-6 June 2010
" I am a Roma, despite the persecutions and the discriminations that Roma suffer I am still a Roma. I exist and Roma do exist. Through my movies I try to show the difficulties that Roma have to face in their daily life, the hard work and the reject, but also the richness of our culture and traditions. It is extremely positive that initiatives like the Fortnight of Roma movies and the Dosta! campaign are put in place, because they are a mean for bringing Roma and non-Roma together, a mean for giving to Roma the possibility of living different experiences in different contexts and for non-Roma to be part of our world."
Tony Gatlif, Roma film maker, at the occasion of Dosta! video competition prize giving ceremony
7 November 2006
Saban Bajramovic also supported the Dosta! campaign. His "Djelem Djelem" is the soundtrack of the Dosta! campaign TV spot. Thank you Saban...
Esma Redzepova, the so-called « Queen of the Gypsies » is one of the amazing artists who co-operate with the Dosta! campaign for promoting a better understanding of Roma culture and the recognition of Roma as European citizens. Nominated for Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003, Esma was also the first Yugoslavian artist to act in Paris’ Olympia. Proud of her origins, Esma started singing when she was 13. Her marriage with a « gadjo », a non-Roma, was a scandal before becoming the symbol of the dialogue between the Roma community and the majority society. Esma has been the artist invited to launch the CD “Music Beyond Prejudice”, at the Council of Europe on 20 November 2007
Kal Band, from Serbia, has been the Dosta! campaign testimonial at EX-YU ROCKS festival, which took place in Banja Luka on 27-28 July 2007. Kal's music can be heard here.
On 13 May at its Paris meeting, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published its ‘Unite Against Racism’ declaration, in the presence of French international footballer Lilian Thuram. The declaration, supported by a video message from Secretary General Terry Davis, was issued ahead of the Euro 2008 football tournament. The commission wants the event to demonstrate a commitment to combatting racism and racial discrimination in football and set out guidelines for tackling the problem in national football leagues.
“It’s the first time in European history that Roma have been even recognised. Until now we have been treated like a fringe group, like a social phenomenon, a social problem. It’s the first time in history that the European governments have recognised the Roma as a trans-national minority that lives everywhere in the European countries with a common problem - and that something has to be done to improve the living conditions of this group.”
Mr. Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, in the occasion of the Signature of the Partnership Agreement between the Council of Europe and ERTF
"The lack of access to adequate education and employment constitute an unacceptable social exclusion of the Roma community and are inextricably linked to an inadequate access to health care, social dependency and an inability to escape from poverty into which many Roma are born."
Ms Livia Jaroka, European Parliament member
for Dosta Campaign (go to the video-interview)
Muharem Serbezovski has been singing for 40 years. During his career he participated in several festivals and competition and won 11 first awards and 7 second prices. He has recorded 52 albums and sold about 1 million records. He has written 6 novels and a research on Roma lifestile. He has been one of the guest stars of the Festival "Art against stereotypes" organised by the Dosta! campaing in Tirana, on 5-6 April 2007.
"Europe has a shared history, albeit a contradictory one enacted all too often in the form of wars and violence, and since the 15th century the people we call gypsies, gitanes or Zigeuner - frequently suffering and being persecuted - have played a part in that history. Europe is a product of multiple influences and its culture draws inspiration from many different sources: there is no denying that musically, in particular, it has been influenced by the Roma. And Europe bears a collective responsibility"
Gunter Grass, Nobel prize in Literature 1999, at the "European Conference against racism"
Published in "Günter Grass: Ohne Stimme"
(c) Steidl Verlag, Göttingen 2000
Kindly authorized for quoting in Dosta campaign by Mr. Gunter Grass and Steidl Verlag
"In order to develop policies that would improve the situation of Roma, we have to understand their aspirations, which are numerous and complex."
Ms. Simone Weil,
Former State Minister-France and former President of the European Parliament, Member of the Constitutional Council
[inline: 10=star bullet] International Day of Tolerance: statements by Council of Europe leaders