A DELEGATION from the European Commission (EC) led by deputy Director General for Regional Policy Katarína Mathernová visited Roma settlements in Košice, Banská Bystrica and Bratislava at the end of September. The visit was meant to review significant investments from the EU to support the Roma community in Slovakia.
“The Roma community is the most-populous European ethnic minority, suffering from marginalization, poverty, and social exclusion,” the SITA newswire quoted Mathernová as saying.
“We want to monitor ongoing projects focusing on the Roma community with the aim to better understand what effective measures the EC together with member states can adopt with the objective of integrating the Roma into society.”
It was the second field trip to European Roma settlements, carried out by representatives of the EC Directorate General for Regional Policy and of Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Equality of Opportunities. This spring the delegation visited Andalusia in southern Spain.
Mathernová and her team also met with Deputy PM for Minorities Dušan Čaplovič and the Government Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities, Ľudovít Galbavý, on September 25. Čaplovič acknowledged that the EC views Roma issues as not only a problem for the national governments but rather a problem for the European Community, SITA reported.
According to Čaplovič’s spokesperson Michal Kaliňák, Mathernová said that in those areas where the local government cooperate with NGOs and with the local Roma community no big money is needed to change the habits and approach to life of the Roma families, SITA wrote.
5. Oct 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff