Roma Populations Are Hard Hit by the European Energy Crisis

Date:

Roma Populations Are Hard Hit by the European Energy Crisis

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, January 05, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Many of Europe’s 12 million Roma people have a low living level, and energy poverty was widespread in many communities even before the energy crisis.

  • At least 10% of the approximately 6 million Roma people who reside in EU nations do not have any access to electricity, according to estimates.

  • According to data gathered by his organisation, a quarter of all Roma houses have had their energy turned off since the crisis began because they cannot make ends meet.

  • While this is going on, advocates for the Roma in other nations are concerned that politicians would use the energy crisis as a pretext to disregard the long-standing issues of energy poverty among the Roma or even to enable Roma settlements to be cut off from supplies.24 families living in the “12 February” Roma colony in the southern Serbian city of Nis had their energy switched off in May this year due to unpaid payments.

  • During the energy crisis, politicians hope to be able to cut off electricity to Roma villages without encountering too much opposition or public outcry.

Numerous households in a village in the Serbian city of Nis protest after having their electricity switched off. Opre Roma Srbija is to blame.

Experts worry that the Roma, the most significant minority on the continent, may be left behind as European households brace themselves for energy shortages this winter and authorities prepare support packages to help them heat their homes in the coming months.

Many of Europe’s 12 million Roma people have a low living level, and energy poverty was widespread in many communities even before the energy crisis.

Governments are urged to ensure that one of the most vulnerable populations on the continent receives the assistance they require this winter and beyond. Roma leaders and rights organisations claim that the current crisis has worsened the issue.

Zeljko Jovanovic, director of the Open Society Roma Initiatives Office at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), told IPS that “EU leaders and policymakers must ensure that energy policies already agreed, or any agreed in the future, must be tailored and implemented in such a way that the most vulnerable, including the Roma, can access and benefit from them.”

The Roma is one of Europe’s most marginalised and discriminated against communities. Significant populations frequently reside in segregated neighbourhoods with subpar living conditions and pervasive acute poverty.

Energy insecurity is also widespread. At least 10% of the approximately 6 million Roma people who reside in EU nations do not have any access to electricity, according to estimates.

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