The Raoul Wallenberg Institute hosted a panel discussion on April 6 about EU citizens of Roma origin that have migrated to Lund, Malmö and Copenhagen.
To understand the social, cultural and legal complexities of this phenomena, scholars from different disciplines, namely, anthropology, sociology and law, critically deconstructed and analysed the issue from a human rights based perspective.
The first pannelist to take the floor was Julian Nowag, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Law at Lund University. He provided an overview of the basic EU instruments that directly or indirectly have something to do with the situation of Roma people in Europe. He went on to remind us of the definition of economic activity according to the European Court of Justice. “If you are a service provider, you have a right to stay,” he added, in reference to Roma people that offer music in the streets.
Secondly, Ioana Bunescu, lecturer at the Department of Global Political Studies at Malmö University, spoke about the necessity of using categories, and the problems that these categories sometimes endure as well. “Who are the Roma people?” she asked. “If we go deeper,” she continued, “we see that this category contains a rather heterogeneous group of people.”
Finally, Camilla Ida Ravnbol, Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, said “Roma people very well distinguish between real work and the work they are left to do,” in reference to the fact that the denial of opportunities prevent them from accessing the formal labour market.
She emphasized that freedom of movement is one thing on the paper and a different thing when implemented.
The Panel was moderated by Alejandro Fuentes, Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.