Last Thursday (8 June), Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth welcomed the many guests in the Atrium of the Federal Foreign Office who had come to celebrate the opening of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture.
Information centre on the contribution made by Sinti and Roma to European culture
The Institute is an initiative of the Council of Europe, the Open Society Foundation and an alliance of Roma activists. It is backed by the German Government, in part through the promotion of Europe-wide cultural projects by the Federal Foreign Office. The Institute’s work is intended to highlight more strongly the contribution by Roma and Sinti to European culture.
“Unfortunately, the 12 million-strong minority, the largest ethnic minority in Europe, continues to be subjected to prejudice, exclusion and discrimination. I’m therefore pleased that the Institute can now finally get down to work. Roma and Sinti deserve a place at the heart of our societies,” stated Roth.
In addition to Minister of State for Europe Roth, the guests included Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, George Soros, Chairman of the Open Society Foundation, Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, as well as activists.
Berlin as a symbol of openness
“I’m especially pleased that the Council of Europe chose Berlin as the base for the Institute. Berlin symbolises openness, a lively cultural scene and colourful and inclusive societies. It is especially important to protect and defend this at a time when populism and nationalism are on the rise,” stressed the Minister of State for Europe. Timea Junghaus was presented as the future director of the Institute.
Read the speech by Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth in full here: