Thursday, 24 April 2014

Senate refuses to comply with call of EC to revise national Roma inclusion strategy

5 August 2011

Prague, Aug 4 (CTK) - The Czech government does not suppose that it will comply with the EC's demand that EU members should draft or revise their national strategies of Romanies' integration into majority society, Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa, who substituted Prime Minister Petr Necas, said in the Senate yesterday.

The Czech government's Concept of Romany Integration for 2010-2013 includes the EC's demands, Chalupa said.

The Senate backed the government's stance yesterday.

"At present, the Czech Republic has a well-developed national coordination mechanism relating to the Romany agency. It is neither desirable nor useful to create new tasks for ministries, especially at the time of budget austerity," Chalupa said.

The government has adopted a reserved stance on the EC's demand to draft a concept of strategy towards Romanies until 2020.

The Senate then announced to the European Commission that it did not consider a joint solution to the Romany situation within the whole of the EU "sufficiently efficient."

Under the Senate resolution, the efforts at integrating Romanies should reflect the specific situation and needs of local communities.

The success will depend on whether "it will be possible to make representatives of Romany communities take part in the search for and implementation of the solutions," the Senate resolution said.

The European Commission wants its members to improve Romanies' access to education so that all Romany children finish at least the elementary school.

EU countries should also diminish the difference in employment between Romanies and majority population and to improve Romanies' living and housing conditions.

"Do not believe that it is us who will save the Romanies. They must save themselves," senator Jaroslav Kubera said in the debate.

Kubera said Romanies in the Czech Republic had the same opportunities as the rest.

"Unfortunately, they are unable to use them, though not only them are to blame," Kubera said.

Kubera said he was against the measures adopted without the knowledge of Romanies' mind.

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