Press Release 83/2013
At the beginning of May, a Finn, Miranda Vuolasranta, will become a National Expert in Anti-discrimination Work at European Commission. Earlier, Vuolasranta has acted as Finland’s National Expert at the Council of Europe and as Senior Officer responsible for international Roma issues at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Vuolasranta’s new position belongs to the EU Commission’s non-discrimination policies unit of Directorate-General Justice.
Transfer of Vuolasranta to the Commission opens up new opportunities for influencing. Finland strives to wake up the EU Member States to noticing how important it is to involve the Roma in the process when policy lines concerning them are created and functional solutions sought. Non-discrimination, equality of citizens, gender and social equality, inclusion and effective functioning of the rule of law have been visible parts of the Finnish Roma policy for decades. Finland has also been involved in creation of the European Roma strategy and published, for example, a handbook drafted under the guidance of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs called “The Objectives of Finland for Advancing the European Policy on Roma”. With the help of this handbook, Finland aims to affect formation of the European strategy on Roma and offer its own practices and experiences for promotion of inclusion and equality of the Roma.
The news of Vuolasranta’s new EU position coincides with the International Roma Day, celebrated on 8 April. The Roma Day will be entered in the Finnish calendar from 2014. During the day, there will be seminars, concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events organised in Finland. The international community – including the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the EU – will also observe the day.
Additional information: Tarja Kantola, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 040 590 4119, Miranda Vuolasranta, Senior Officer, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 +40 541 5770