Roma integration within the European Union and Bulgaria

by ERIO on June 11th, 2012

The European Commission gave a positive assessment of the national strategies of the EU member states for social and economic integration of Roma within the Common strategy voted on April 5th this year. According to the strategy there are four key areas where the distance between Roma and other ethnicities should be reduced: access to education, employment, healthcare and residence.

There are between 10 and 12 million Roma people in Europe, spread in various countries. According to the recent statistics, some 350 000 Roma citizens inhabit Bulgaria. But everywhere they are among the poorest and antisocial citizens and part of them are constantly moving from one country to another. Most of the EU countries have already presented particular measures for integration of Roma people. Among the good practices is the Bulgarian pilot project that aims at building homes for poor and vulnerable people worth 15 million leva, the report from the European Commission shows. According to the EU Commissioner of Law and Justice and Vice-president of the European Commission Vivian Reading these national strategies are only the first step and more evident results are needed. This should be achieved by more intense efforts, clear vision and measures, forecasted financing, social observance and appraisal. The Commissioner of Employment, Social Issues and Social integration Laszlo Andor has said that the inclusion of Roma people in the EU is a shared social, economic and moral duty and no country will receive money from the European social fund during the next programme period of 2014-2020, without having a certain project.

“The road towards successful integration of Roma people in the EU goes through observing the rights and responsibilities by everyone”-says Bulgaria’s MEP Andrey Kovachev in an interview for Radio Bulgaria. Recently he was organizer and a reporter representing Bulgaria at the forum named Roma citizens are European citizens, initiated by the European Parliament in regard to the report of the European commission about the integration of Roma people.

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