Magazine article European Social Policy

Roma Inclusion : Budapest Redoubles Efforts to Adopt Eu Framework

Magazine article European Social Policy

Roma Inclusion : Budapest Redoubles Efforts to Adopt Eu Framework

Article excerpt

The Hungarian EU Presidency is stepping up its efforts to build support among the 27 member states for an EU framework for Roma inclusion strategies, ahead of the 24 June European Council. As it begins to draft its own national strategy, Budapest published, on 23 May, a report summing up exchanges of views on this subject in the different EU Council configurations. Rather than insisting on concrete ideas, the report emphasises the support European ministers have voiced for this framework and fails to mention the misgivings voiced by Denmark. The EU framework should serve as the common denominator for national Roma policies and contribute to the mobilisation of Community funds to support integration actions.

OPINIONS OF THREE COUNCILS

The report begins by listing the solutions considered by the justice ministers to facilitate the Roma minority's access to justice. According to the Presidency, the ministers emphasised the reinforcement of Roma communities and access to information, particularly on human rights, during their debate, on 12 April. They also stressed the importance of making legal assistance available to this minority, particularly free legal aid, as well as real legal protection.

The text then sums up the debate of 19 May at the Employment and Social Affairs Council and welcomes that this airing of views culminated in the adoption of conclusions (see page 11). According to the Presidency, all the employment ministers expressed their commitment to Roma inclusion, while stressing that national strategies depend on the national context, the size and specific situation of each member state.

Lastly, the report reiterates the importance of education in combating the transmission of poverty from one generation to the next. At their meeting, on 20 May, the education ministers asked the member states to combat early school leaving, which is especially high for the Roma population. …

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