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National strategies must better involve, target and protect Roma

National strategies must better involve, target and protect Roma

2013. 10. 09.

As the keynote speaker of the EPP Group, MEP Lívia Járóka reminded that the incoherent, weak and in many cases fake inclusion programmes of the past twenty years had proved completely inadequate for fostering social inclusion and that the obvious failures had also directed the responsibility at Roma communities themselves, despite several studies showing that in some cases less than 10% of all Roma inclusion assets had reached their target group. Járóka emphasized that also the long-established and wealthy democracies of Western Europe proved to be no better than those they had been criticising, because their responses for social problems were ranging from detentions to evictions and expulsions when a massive influx of migration has begun as a fairly predictable consequence of combining free movement with the enormous regional disparities between old and new Member States.
 
According to her, Roma inclusion had become a massive economic burden that the actors throughout Europe wished to get rid of by loading it on each other’s shoulders, or even worse: a political mace that parties would hit each other with, should their selfish and short-term interests demand so. Járóka reminded that in 2010, when the expulsions in France began, a massive campaign had started demanding EU action against the French government and thousands had protested on the streets for human rights. 'Why are they silent now, when the expulsions continue uninterrupted? Was it minority rights they cared about, or only ousting President Sarkozy?' – she asked in her speech.
 
Finally, she expressed her hope that current anti-Roma incidents would not pass without consequences and after two decades of stumbling from one crisis management to the next under successive governments, governments would for once and for all understand that success demanded a solution that was embraced through the entire continent and across the political divide. 'We need a strategy which tackles the hopeless marginalization of the most vulnerable communities, which is the root of social tensions and economic migration. And one that also contributes to a cultural shift among Roma, from a cluster of closed, defensive and disparate communities to an open, self-aware and integrated European minority' – Járóka concluded.