European_Commission_1160 x 650Brussels, 26 May 2016: The European Commission has decided to launch a probe into systemic discrimination against Romani children in Hungary, after that several human rights groups, provided extensive evidence of how Romani children face persistent discrimination and segregation in the education system.

The type of investigation launched yesterday against Hungary – known formally as an infringement proceeding – is a mechanism available to the European Commission to ensure EU member states’ laws and practices comply with European law. The infringement procedure has been already used twice to tackle the segregation in education for Romani children in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where the EU legislation was clearly violated.

It is now the time for the Hungarian government to take concrete and immediate action to end school segregation, which regards 45% of Romani children in the country.

Should the Hungarian government fail in addressing the Commission’s concerns and put an end to this unlawful situation, they risk being referred to the European Court of Justice, which could impose severe financial sanctions on the country.

“By finally taking action on this fundamental human rights abuse denying Romani children access to quality education, the European Commission has said enough is enough and the systemic discrimination and segregation of Romani pupils in Hungary’s schools cannot and will not be tolerated,” said Iverna McGowan, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

For more information, please click here (EN).

For the Press Release issued by the European Parliament Anti Racism and Diversity Intergroup, click here (EN)