April 8 is International Day of the Roma. The holiday was established in 1990 when the first World Romani Congress was attended by 23 representatives from nine nations (Norway, France, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Spain).
The Romani people group originated in India and immigrated to Europe in the 10th century. This is when the acquired the often pejorative name Gypsy as they were thought to have come from Egypt.
They are one of the largest, according to some sources the largest, minority in Europe. The Federal Union of European Nationalities estimates there are 10-12 million Romani people living within their jurisdiction.
Juan de Dios Ramirez-Heredia from Spain (1986- 1999) and Lívia Jáaróka (2004 – present) are two prominent Romani who have been elected to the EU Parliament.
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