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EU Presidency - Hungarian rapporteur draws up crisis map to help Roma strategy

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 9th of March 2011   Source: MTI


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A pan-European "crisis map", identifying areas most affected by poverty and social exclusion, gives the basis of a report by a Hungarian MEP focusing on the economic attributes of Roma exclusion, which is to form a part of the Hungarian EU Presidency's Roma strategy.

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"The most important initiative in my report, supported by the Hungarian Presidency, is a pan-European 'crisis map', identifying the crisis areas which are most affected by poverty and social exclusion according to common and comparable indicators all over Europe," Livia Jaroka told the Hungarian EU Presidency's website.

 

The Roma are set apart mainly because they are poor and lack proper access to jobs, decent health care, schools and housing. So policymakers should concentrate on these social and economic issues and keep these separate from other causes of exclusion such as racial discrimination, culture and identity, the Fidesz-delegated MEP said.

 

Roma only account for a third of poor people in Hungary, whereas only a third of Roma live in deep poverty, she noted. Policies will be fairer and target their resources more effectively if target groups are selected not on ethnic grounds but on the social and economic causes of poverty, the MEP said.

 

Fighting poverty must be carefully tailored for uneducated social groups in rural areas and on the edge of cities where local economies are in a transitional phase.

 

"Disparities within regions are often much higher than between regions," Jaroka said. Instead of throwing money and resources at whole regions, microregions should be targeted, she added.

 

"Complex, intensive programs matching their individual needs should be worked out to prevent gaps [between microregions] from widening," Jaroka said.

 

Policymakers should take into consideration the availability of jobs, distance from the city centre, the unemployment rate, quality of public services, environmental conditions, standard of infrastructure, income and educational level of the population, transport infrastructure and the measure of social tensions, Jaroka added.

 

Jaroka said the European Commission should take responsibility for the supervision, coordination, control and assessment of the strategy; and that it should constantly assess the action plans of member states which implement it.

 

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU’s strategy for the European integration of Roma on Wednesday.



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