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Slovakia assumes presidency of Decade of the Roma

The identity of the Roma along with integrated education and a multi-cultural upbringing will be the main priorities of Slovakia's presidency of the ‘Decade of Integration of the Roma Population 2005-15’ programme, which begins on July 1, the TASR newswire wrote.

The identity of the Roma along with integrated education and a multi-cultural upbringing will be the main priorities of Slovakia's presidency of the ‘Decade of Integration of the Roma Population 2005-15’ programme, which begins on July 1, the TASR newswire wrote.

The national coordinator of the Slovak presidency is Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Čaplovič, who is taking over from Serbian Deputy Premier Bozidar Djelic, TASR wrote. When Slovakia's presidency ends in mid-2010 it will be passed to the Czech Republic.

Slovakia wants to focus on the Roma mainly in terms of the current destabilisation and value disorientation of this minority in Europe. This causes the Roma to deny their origin and refuse to claim their identity, which, according to the government's report, is very often justified.

Slovakia plans to promote positive role models from the Roma community in order to motivate others, mainly the younger generations. It also wants to tackle racism, discrimination and barriers. The goal of the integrated education and multi-cultural upbringing project is to lead Roma children to tolerance and the acceptance of other cultures. Aversion stemming from misinformation and a lack of knowledge of other cultures should be reduced.

The main promoter of this programme is to be the Education Ministry. As Slovakia will preside over this programme in the last year of its first half-decade, it will call on other participant countries to revise their national action plans. Slovakia will re-evaluate its own action plan in the first half of 2010. Twelve countries are taking part in the Decade programme.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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