European Parliament Concerned about Rights Violations in the EU

January 23, 2009 Updated: January 23, 2009

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed concerns about the "high number of fundamental rights violations in the EU," pointing to discrimination against minorities and threats to privacy, in a report adopted on Jan. 14. They called for better cooperation between European institutions and members of the EU on the issue of immigration and asylum.

The report reviews human rights in the EU from 2004 to 2008, and voices recommendations to address a broad range of issues. The Roma, one of the major minorities in Romania, which have now become one of Europe’s largest minority groups since the expansion of the EU, need special protection, especially on the issue of housing access, according to the report. It singles out “anti-Roma sentiments” and limited political representation among the Roma as areas that need particular improvement.

Members of Parliament also called for member countries to take action against the unofficial marriages of minors, “often at a very young age,” among the Roma.

The report also touched on the fight against terrorism, which has resulted in a diminished level of protection of human rights, notably in the arena of privacy, data protection, and freedom from discrimination.

MEPs condemned the lack of an effective immigration integration policy, causing "the exclusion of hundreds of thousands of non-nationals," and putting them "in a vulnerable position, opening the way to radicalization, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation."