The Daily Express reports today under the headline ‘Now EU “Crackpots” demand gypsy MPs’ that, if a resolution from the European Parliament becomes law “all the political parties in the UK will have to impose female gypsy candidates on the electorate and get them into Parliament.”
This story is ludicrous. First and foremost – and leaving aside the questionable terminology used by the Express – the EU only has the powers delegated to it by the Member States in unanimously agreed Treaties. Those powers do not include the power to intervene in how candidates for national elections are nominated. So it is quite simply impossible that the EU could pass such a law.
The story has been described by an MEP in a letter sent to the Express as “fabricated from beginning to end.”
The agreed European Framework for Roma inclusion looks into ways of helping integrate traveller communities into education, employment, healthcare and housing. It says nothing about political representation, let alone quotas.
What the MEPs concerned are trying to do is draw attention to the exclusion and discrimination faced by Roma communities all around Europe, around 90% of whom live below the poverty line.