European Green Deal!
On 4 September 2020, I participated in the first Online Youth Gathering for Climate and Social Justice. That day, I had a chance to participate in the session, where I could expand my knowledge on the European Green Deal.
The purpose of the European Green Deal is to strive to protect, preserve and expand the EU’s green capital and to protect the health and welfare of its citizens from environmental risks and their effects. The measures of the European Green Deal are the following: climate neutrality, renovation, biodiversity, electric cars, mechanisms, a just transition, etc.
I believe that the measures are tailored accordingly, i. e. that they meet the special priorities and needs of each community. However, when I think it over a bit more, not every measure is “appropriate” for every community. By this I primarily mean my own community, and I can say with a lot of certainty that ecology in my community does not exist!
My Roma Community
In my Roma community, the primary cause of poor health is the environment, as well as, of course, the lack of clean water and of a sanitary system. In many Roma settlements, there’s still a problem with disposing and collecting communal waste. Another problem is paying for waste collection. The way that Roma families keep animals is also inappropriate, as dogs can often be found lying in the streets, making the streets dangerous for passers-by wanting to pass through.
The residential buildings where the Roma live are equally inadequate for meeting their everyday needs, meaning that they are not equipped with infrastructure (electricity, water, sewage…), which is why it’s important to engage the community in planning and implementing ideas, activities, etc.
The members of the community know what’s necessary, why it’s necessary, what are the obstacles, what can be done and what is sustainable. Participation increases communal ownership.
‘An active role of the Roma who are in a disadvantaged position contributes to their social inclusion.’
However, the Roma are not included enough in society, so they’re not able to participate in social, political and cultural life.
Social Justice for Roma Community
On September 6, I had the opportunity to talk about the problem with our position in society and how we’re discriminated against by the society during the session “Racial Justice: Decolonizing the Climate Movement”.
The Roma represents a population group that is being discriminated against and marginalised in many aspects of everyday life. As a member of this marginalised group, I felt the need to bring this problem up during this session’s group assignment. The Roma needs an accepting environment and support from non-Roma communities to avoid stigmatisation, whilst simultaneously encouraging relationships and cooperation between the Roma and the non-Roma on the basis of common interests.
On the structural level, it would be ideal if the policies shaped by the European Green Deal can provide financial and technical support to the Roma community and the local government, which can positively affect the employment and development of the green economy within the Roma settlement itself.
As one of the major problems is the energy poverty and a lack of economic power leading to inability to pay for the water supply, electricity connection and municipal waste, there is still the need for an alternative payment such as subsidized electricity connection but also investment in renewable energy infrastructure. There is also the need for improving the public transport infrastructure and increasing mobility of members of Roma community.
These measures should achieve short-term goals. In terms of long-term goals, measures and policies should be implemented to achieve better inclusion and desegregation, leaving no one behind!
Furthermore, I would like to thank Zelena Akcija who provided a translator, to whom I am also thankful, for making it possible for me to participate in the first Online Youth Gathering for Climate and Social Justice.
If you want to know more about our System:Reset project and our new working group on the European Green Deal, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org