EUROPEAN COMMITTEE ON ROMANI EMANCIPATION
European Economic Interest Grouping
Founded under Articles of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2137/85
Regulation 9 of the European Economic Interest Grouping Regulations 1989
Registered in the United Kingdom Number GE 168
128 COPNOR ROAD, PORTSMOUTH PO3 5AN, UNITED KINGDOM
web site: http://www.eu-romani.org
Chairman - Committee on Petitions European Parliament
Schuman Building - L-2929 Luxembourg
FAX: 0032 2 284 9732
15th March 2004
Dear Mr. Gemelli,
We are in receipt of a letter dated 11th March 2004 (ref: 201309) signed on your behalf by Mr. Roy Perry (Vice Chair of the Petitions Committee) and to which is attached a copy of a Notice to Members dated 22 January 2004 which includes a transcript of a reply from the European Commission and which was received by your Committee on 13 November 2003.
Mr. Perry states that with this letter he is providing us with the official response of your Committee on this matter implying that this is a final decision. He also ends the letter by stating, "The Committee on petitions decided to close its consideration of your petition".
Unfortunately this reverses written undertakings we have received from your Committee concerning the fact that, before any final decisions are taken by your Committee, the petition would be reviewed in a public meeting. These undertakings were made in writing both in the initial response from your Committee on 13 March 2003 where it was stated that:
As well as in a letter, signed by you, on 18th November 2003 in which you stated that:
In both cases we received a confirmation that we would be informed of further action and, in particular, this would indicate our being invited to a public meeting organized by the Committee on Petitions and during which this issue would be reviewed and we would have the opportunity to clarify any areas of doubt.
Given the degree of failure to address adequately, in the above-referred letter and the Notice to Members, the main and specific issues raised in the Petition, and considering the significant redirection of emphasis and representations contained therein there is a de facto lack of transparency and a real risk of misinterpretation. This is an unacceptable state of affairs but even more so for this concerns an extremely serious Human Rights issue affecting a considerable number of children. We therefore respectfully request that you act in accordance with the undertakings of your Committee and organize the promised public review where key cross examinations can help clarify facts and lead to a more speedy and yet better informed review upon which your Committee would be able to base any decisions.
In the meantime we also ask that you withdraw the premature and hastily drawn up "official response" referred to above.
For and on behalf of
ECRE - European Committee on Romani Emancipation
Member of Management Committee
European Committee on Romani Emancipation