A critical, independent evaluation of the European Commission
By Valeriu Nicolae, founder and president of the Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities in Bucharest
The European bureaucracy in senior and middle management positions has no proven experience but also no responsibility or incentive to push towards serious policies targeting Roma inclusion. Such policies would require significant financial commitments and a serious reform at the EC and national levels. Criticism, reform and strong monitoring would be a must and those do not make friends. Careers in Brussels are built on strong political support, diplomatic niceties and pragmatism. Good speeches, window dressing measures and postponing any serious financial investments during the time an EC senior and medium manager is in charge of Roma issues would seem the best way to preserve intact the chances of a successful career in the EC.
I propose a critical, independent evaluation of Commission action on Roma. This would be a good first step. The European Parliament could initiate this, as a way to ensure that the next financial cycle of the EU will lead to progress, when it comes to Roma. The evaluation should look at the efficiency of both the institutional and financial mechanisms and should present uncensored recommendations for improvements. Similar research is needed in the case of member states.
The purpose of this exercise would not be to embarrass or blame anybody. Many well intentioned, and some truly exceptional people both in the EU and national structures, genuinely are trying their best to help. Unfortunately, they work within an institutional and policy framework that dilutes their efforts, and sometimes renders those efforts completely useless.
The main problem at this moment is not that there is no progress. In fact, there is some progress. But the small steps forward are not sufficient to stop the overall negative current when it comes to the social exclusion of Roma. Those small steps forward will soon become irrelevant if serious reform is not put in place.
Read more on http://www.opendemocracy.net/valeriu-nicolae/eu-systemic-reform-is-urgently-needed