What happens to all the Roma funds?

Published on 13 October 2010 at 12:21

Europe’s member states are “under scrutiny” for their use of funds allocated for the Roma, remarks Evenimentul Zilei, ahead of a European Commission conference to discuss "the contribution made by European funds to the integration of the Roma population," taking place in Bucharest and other Romanian cities. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Hungary’s László Andor explained that "We want to know where these funds were not used", adding that the first European strategy for Roma integration, obligatory for all member states, is to be presented in the spring of 2011. The conference is taking place against the backdrop of controversial expulsions of some 1,000 Roma of Romanian and Bulgarian origin from France, an event Andor described as "unfortunate." In his speech, the commissioner also highlighted what he terms “the European paradox," which has resulted in “young Roma who live on a rich continent being confined to urban ghettoes and isolated villages."

Evenimentul Zilei explains that since it joined the EU in 2007, Romania has received 30 million euros for the purpose of Roma integration. Although some initiatives in the country have proved successful, the daily remarks that “administrative decentralisation has placed many projects in the hands of local mayors who have often failed to allocate the funds appropriately.”

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