Heads of govt and state approve Roma strategy

Brussels, June 24 (MTI) – European Union heads of government and state approved on Friday the EU framework strategy to promote and encourage Roma inclusion, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Brussels.  

The strategy prepared during Hungary’s EU presidency “will provide a chance for the community to become a well-respected, involved and accepted member of the European Union community,” Orban said at the end of the two-day summit. This is the first time that Europe has adopted a strategy of its kind, he added.


The European Commission welcomed the decision on Friday. Commissioner of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Laszlo Andor called the EU leaders’ stance for creating a framework strategy an important step, demonstrating that Europe rejected the social and economic exclusion of millions of Roma.


Andor said the framework strategy would hopefully lead to the drafting of “ambitious and realistic” national Roma strategies.


Commissioner of Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding said the European leaders had assumed an unprecedented commitment to improving the situation of the Roma. She expressed thanks to the Hungarian EU presidency for its contribution to this achievement.


Hungarian MEP Livia Jaroka, the EU’s Roma inclusion rapporteur, called the decision a “milestone” for the 10 million Roma living in Europe. She said Roma integration would give Europe the chance to handle its labour market challenges.