Roma in Romania: Positive Discrimination vs Racial Segregation

Romanian Roma population is the ethnic national minority that has probably got the most sensible media coverage across Europe for various reasons. International organizations such as UNICEF constantly deplore lack of equity and social protection as well as different forms of Roma child social exclusion.

Credit: UNICEF / © Benno Neeleman

Credit: UNICEF / © Benno Neeleman

Various European funded projects implemented in Romania have not shown sustainable results. Recently President Basescu was advocating for an EU Roma protection strategy which points to the fact that Romania’s own policies in this field have failed.

Roma population accounts for 3.3% of Romania’s citizens if we were to credit the 2011 census. However, the real percentage is higher since many citizens refuse to declare their ethnic origins for fear of social stigma.

Education is one of the fields where the Romanian authorities could really play the card of inclusion if they really wished so. Consequently, to my dismay, some days ago I read about the initiative of Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca who publicly announced that he intended to support a Roma-only school project. Accused of ethnic segregation, he later said that the school project was not only designed for the Roma minority but had a much broader social inclusion goal.

When a former PM thinks of building ethnic schools, it’s questionable to believe that Romanian authorities have a solid inclusion strategy in mind. Hence, the undeniable recourse to European policies to supply for lack of vision and commitment to solve home affairs.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, International Organizations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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