Segregation of Roma youth in schools: European principles, domestic practices
By Andras Ujlaky
On May 22, within the European Framework of Roma Inclusion, the European Commission (EC) has released a communication to Member States on their Roma emancipation strategies and a policy outlook for the upcoming ten years. It is not a defining document but that would probably be unnecessary anyway. It reiterates the goals defined at the creation of the Framework, namely: putting an end to the exclusion and discrimination of Roma people, primarily in the labour market, education, housing, and healthcare. The document enumerates Member States’ efforts by these intervention areas. Panorama in Hungary.
The communication does not include assessments or judgments of any kind regarding efforts by the Member States. There are no compliments, no rebukes, it is not analysing, nor asking for more. However, it does take a stance in a certain number of issues, primarily organizational ones. . The EC declares that planning and executing policies is a task befalling the Member States exclusively. The EU will provide the financial resources necessary for this but this cannot be an excuse for sparing national fiscal resources. The document further calls attention to the quality control of programme results, mainly by listing Member State duties. It highlights the significance of maximizing Roma participation in different programmes but leaves the method of execution once again up to Member States. Therefore, the already established Roma Platform will not be a controlling, supervising or approving body with its own rights but merely a conversation club.
We could say that Member States can do whatever they want with their Roma – the EU lacks capacity and the resources to handle the Roma-issue today. Solving this problem will befall on those who could profit the most from a young, healthy, self-conscious, well-educated, tax-paying Roma population: the national governments. And this is probably right: governments should be held accountable by their citizens.
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