One of the most overt demonstrations of institutional discrimination in Europe is the prejudicial procrastination of the European Commission in failing to carry out its mandate as Guardian of the Treaties. It should demand that European governments obey European law and stop their proactive role in segregating Romani children and denying them a useful education.
As is explained below, this irresponsibility is the cause of Central European economies under-performing to the tune of at least Euro50 billion each year1 while the people of Europe look on as the European Commission disburses their money, equivalent to 40% of the EU budget, to the same governments responsible for this corruption, as compensation. The budgetary tags include such things as "cohesion".
Misleading the people of Europe
This is an amazing insanity tolerated largely because these same governments and the European Commission collude to hide the direct connection between this human rights abuse and the significant reduction in economic performance. It is self-evident that if the Roma are proactively prevented from qualifying to earn a decent income then their families suffer as does the general economy. The European Commission's failure to act and the corruption of such governments undermine the integrity and social comity of the people of Europe by misleading them into false images with respect to the motivation and expectations of the Roma. Certainly such despicable behaviour does a disservice to the population of Europe by hiding from them the institutional role in enforcing a reduced standard of living for Europeans and by equating the word "Europe" with rank hypocracy when it comes to doing something practical about human rights for its own citizens and incompetence when it comes to ensuring that sound economic strategies are followed for European development.
Paper trail of irresponsibility
In a sequence of correspondence, which we provide for public viewing in our Correspondence section on this site, visitors can read the paper trail of evidence of the events described below:
In the beginning...
The Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunter Verhuegen was informed about a crisis facing the Roma communities in the pre-accession countries of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in November 1999; he took no action. ECRE-European Committee on Romani Emancipation undertook field surveys during 2001 and 2002 and reported on our findings on the so-called Special Schools situation in 2003. Within these countries central governments were (and continue to do so) paying around an annual Euro 2,000 to local authorities for each Roma child who was segregated and denied education; this money was not spent on the education of such children. At that time, in Special Schools alone, in the limited geographic region covered, some 150,000 children were affected.
European Commission abusing Guardianship of Treaty and the Madrid Conditions for Accession
With this evidence to hand the European Commission was duty bound to act on its madate as Guardian of the Treaty and specifically, the Enlargement Department, had the responsibility to ensure that the Madrid Conditions for Accession were upheld. The Guardianship of the Treaty is a mandate of the European Commission which makes them responsible for ensuring that all member state governments observe European Law. The Madrid Conditions for accession are one of the conditions qualifying countries for accession during the pre-accession process. They require that in addition to transcribing basic European Law onto national statutes that it is also necessary for the pre-accession country governments and the judiciary to be applying European Law before accession could be granted. However, Commissioner Verhuegen chose to continue to hide the facts by not reporting this widespread human rights abuse by government institutions and the failure of the judiciary to act. Indeed, it was the responsibility of the European Commission to enforce action and compliance with the Law. All of these "details" were excluded from Commissioner Verheugen's departmental Country Progress Reports. As a result, this contributed directly to the issuance of reports which "white washed" the true state of affairs. These misrepresentations are on the record and this misrepresentation of the facts were the justification for the accession of these countries. Our own record of correspondence and issuance of reports indicate clearly the level of awareness of the European Commission when they were issuing misleading reports and/or failing to correct them. There was clearly a proactive move on the part of the Enlargement Department to mislead the European public and, in particular, to influence the accession votes for these countries by the European Parliament and the the European Council of Ministers. Indeed the most strident falsification of information, largely achieved through omission of key facts, was the Enlargement Department's misrepresentation of the degree to which the governemnt and the judiciary were breaking European Law both before accession and after accession. The European Commission as Guardian of the Treay continues to ignore the fact that this horrendous abuse of children continues today.
The politically-biased Petitions Committee
ECRE submitted a petition to complain about the behaviour of the European Commission and their failure to address this major case of human rights violations, to the European Parliamentary Petitions Committee in early 2003. These indiduals in a scurrilous abandonment of duty simply refused to investigate and spite of receiving ECRE's detailed evidence relied upon the European Commission's misleading "reply" to state that there was no such abuse. ECRE was informed of this decision in 2004. A PDF report on this irresponsible behaviour of the European Parliamentary Petitions Committee can be accessed here: Some reasons why the European Parliamentary Petitions Committee should be scrapped. The Petition's Committee and the European Commisssion are therefore on record as having proactively ignored evidence and refused to carry out their mandates.
Although ECRE also complained to the European Parliamentary Ombudsman he only presented all of the reasons why he could not act. One of the more telling comunications from the Ombudsman emphasises that the decisions of the petitions Committee are "political".
Don't complain about anything which might embarrass corrupt politicians - if you try they will lobby to save their face
The unmistakable conclusion of this shameful trail of written evidence is that when the European Union asserts that it is the effective first line of defence for the freedom and human rights of the citizen it seriously misrepresents the facts. This is because whether they act or not has nothing to do with rights but upon the discretion of politicians, many closely collaborating with those who are responsible for the issue being addressed. The European Committee on Romani Emancipation applied to each in turn and each one either ignored our appeals on behalf of 150,000 Romani children subjected to segregated educational denial or simply acted in a corrupt fashion in spite of overwhelming evidence of law breaking.
Human Rights as Propaganda
In the European Union, the reality is that there is no genuine concern for human rights when acting to uphold them might embarass a politicians and party whose underlying motivation is corrupt or racist. The same applied to a government, a European Commissioner or even staff labouring awaying with the Commission aware of the damage their institution is doing by not acting but not having the nerve to whistle blow. This same European Union has the affront to consider itself to be an example to the world of a political system which defends Human Rights in spite of the fact that the most horrendous case of abuse is kept out of sight.
Remedies at Law
Consideration was given by the European Committee on Romani Emancipation as to whether or not we should take this important concern to the European Court of Human Rights or alternatively the European Court. Unfortunately the haphazardous and dishonest nature of the two last European Union enlargements as mentioned above has resulted in a decline in the impartiality of European Courts. This corruption of the European judiciary is a direct outcome of the last two enlargements failing to upholkd the Madrid Condition. As a direct result of this failure some 37% of the complement of judges in the European Courts are from these countries whose governments were and continue to enforce mass educational denial. These politicians are from that murky tradition of one-party totalitarian politics where the judiciary, intelligence services, politicians and the police worked closely together. Unfortunately such bad habits do not disappear because these countries are now members of the European Union. Certainly such habits were never called into question because of the irresponsibility of the European Commission not giving sufficient regard to the rights of the people already within the Union or to those suffering abuse from their pre-accession governments and judiciary.
The significant decline in the impartiality of the judiciary does not only affect human rights but affects everything including such bizarre cases as the MicroSoft case since 37% of the complement of judges are from political regimes typified by self-serving politicians with no concept of constituency. Court decisions are increasingly political. There is no concept of decisions being based upon a conditoons of being "beyond a reasonable doubt". Judges vote in small panels and there are no dissenting opinions published. On the other hand, the European Court of Human Rights, which is not of the European Union, has judges from many more countries with horrendous human rights records. In this court there are quite often dissenting opnions which are worth reading becasue they demonstrate plainly the bias of the majorioty against the rational argument of those raising the "reasonable doubt". It is all politics.
Constitutional economics - the politics of freedom
One of the most revealing facts to come out of ECRE's field work is a considerable amount of work on Constitutional Economics underway at SEEL (Systems Engineering Economics Lab) where the economic and financial impacts of the failure of politicians and judges to uphold the Law are being measured. The findings are highly significant since there are high annual losses to the central European economies where such educational denial occurs. This is a result of an increasing segment of the workforce being unable to achieve a high earning capacity throug lack of professional training caused by early segregation and educational denial. In Hungary alone this totals around Euro12 billion and within the European Union at least some Euro 50 billion This is equivalent to 40% of the European Union budget. The absurd situation is that we have the European Commission providing funding for "catch up" initiatives and cohesion to fill in gaps created by corrupt or incompetent governments who are bent on sustaining their abuse of a segment of the population. This racism comes at a very high cost to all Europeans. This Euro 50 billion shortfall in the European GNP can be directly related to the failure of the European Commission, Governments and the Judiciary to take Human Rights seriously. This suppression of opportunity is a direct suppression of individual freedom and it is sustained by the very bodies which is a civilised society would be acting to remove such abuse. The issue is, indeed, political but it is a politics of freedom which affects all of us and not just the Roma.
The European constitution
The European Union has a political system which in practical constitutional terms tolerates an open and shameful abuse of minorities. This racist abuse is proactively funded by central governments. The outcome is an increasing shortfall in national economic performance (currently around -12%-15%). A corrupt European Commission transfers funds to these same governments for initiatives to "compensate" and promote "cohesion". This insane cycle of corruption founded on human rights abuse is supposed to be tolerated by those in Europe who contribute such funds. This irresponsible politics is supposed to be tolerated by people whose countries are failing to satisfy key fiscal requirement. For example, Hungary cannot meet the Euro criteria because it loses around Euro12 billion each year due to underperformance related to lack of professional training.
A political decision
Most of Central Europe has a declining population whereas the Roma population is increasing. Unless these countries begin to take schooling and professional training of the Roma seriously, these countries face a bleak future with a rapidly aging population entering retirement on a falling real income and a general relative decline in real incomes with respect to Western Europe. As the facts become more clear, that is suppressing individual freedom through a failure to uphold the law and human rights abuse cause all to suffer an uncertain future, then maybe the politics will change. This decision rests with the people of Europe and as we have seen from this shameful story, this decision does not rest with politicians, the judiciary or the European Union institutions.
1Source: Systems Engineering Economics Lab, Constitutional Economics Unit, data for 2006. This is advance information from SEEL annual report to be published mid August 2007.