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EU to adopt Roma strategy by end of Hungarian presidency, says PM Orban

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 7th of December 2010   Source: MTI


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The European Union will adopt a Roma strategy by mid-2011 - the end of Hungary's EU presidency - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told MTI after talks with his Danish counterpart Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Copenhagen on Tuesday afternoon.

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The European Commission will disclose the first draft in spring 2011, to be followed by a public debate. The final version will then be approved at the EU prime ministers' summit meeting, he said.

 

The European Roma strategy should focus on education and labour, said Orban.

 

Orban said it should be clearly seen in Europe that there are two kinds of Roma on the continent: the nomadic Roma and those that had settled down. If Europe fails to ensure that the settled Roma receive the appropriate education and opportunities to work then they will start travelling to find better opportunities. And since the Roma of central and eastern Europe are European citizens, they will go to countries which offer a higher standard of living with better social support, he added.

 

Orban said this is why a European Roma strategy is needed, prioritising job-creation and schooling, making sure that the settled Roma community really stays settled as a community.  

 

Energy efficiency and EU enlargement also featured high on the agenda of the Copenhagen meeting,

 

Orban told MTI that both Hungary and Denmark "strongly supported" Croatia's admission to the European Union, and that of Iceland.

 

Concerning energy efficiency, the Danish side is committed to sharing its experiences with the participants in the energy summit to take place in February, he said.

 

On the subject of Hungary's preparations for the presidency, Orban said that it was Hungary's job to make sure that European policymaking should be kept on an even keel during what is expected to be the toughest period for the past twenty years.

 

"We are looking at the presidency realistically," Orban said.

 

The prime minister held talks in Stockholm and Copenhagen today as part of preparations for Hungary's EU presidency.



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