Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Biased Elites, Unfit Policies: Reflections on the Lacunae of Roma Integration Strategies

  • Margareta Matache (a1)

Abstract

In this article, I argue that policymakers employed unconscious biases and racist beliefs in the formulation and the implementation of the current EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (ʻEU Roma Frameworkʼ) and its corresponding national strategies. Using Critical Race Theory, I explore how these policies have reinforced the commonly held belief in the need to civilize and otherwise change the habits of the Roma, and consequently have further reinforced the power imbalance between the Roma and the dominant majority groups (hereinafter used interchangeably with ʻnon-Romaʼ). I analyse examples of Roma versus universal policies comparatively, emphasizing biases in formulation, implementation, and discourse. I show that the objectives of the EU Roma Framework and national Roma strategies toward Roma education involve ethnic presuppositions and are far less ambitious than the avowed Europe 2020 strategy; this policy mismatch will likely lead to further educational discrepancies post-2020. Finally, I conclude that policies focused on the Roma are doomed to fail if no prior and concurrent actions are taken to change prejudiced attitudes and the behaviours of non-Roma, in particular those biases influencing policy formulation and implementation.

Copyright

References

Hide All
1. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2016) Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey. Roma-selected findings (Luxembourg: Publications office of the European Union), pp. 150. Retrieved from: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2016-eu-minorities-survey-roma-selected-findings_en.pdf
2. European Commission (2011) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, (Brussels) Retrieved from: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52011DC0173&from=en
3.Eight of the countries FRA surveyed in 2016 were included in the 2011 survey and six in the 2008 EU MIDIS I.
4. European Commission (2010) Europe 2020: A Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (Brussels), pp. 134. Retrieved from: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:2020:FIN:EN:PDF
5.Gadjo-ness’, as a particular form of whiteness does not equal non-Roma people. In another piece I define it as discursive, institutional and relational racial ideologies that lay down social, economic, cultural and institutional privileges and powers not only for those identified as non-Roma and those who pass as non-Roma, but also for those who are ‘promoted’ from positions of inferiority to whiteness, such as those accepted as non-Roma owing to certain skills or talents validated by those who hold power.
6. Romani Champions Project (September 2016) Interview Roma student in Belgrade. Additional information about the research project can be found here: https://fxb.harvard.edu/research/adolescent-empowerment/roma-program/rights-and-participation/#champions
7. Gadje is the generic term used by Romani people to refer to non-Roma.
8. Kyuchokov, H. (2000) Transformative education for Roma (Gypsy) children: an insider’s view. Intercultural Education, 11, pp. 273280.
9. Spasenovic, V., Petrovic, A. and Maksic, S. (2015) Serbia. In: W. Horner, H. Dobert, L.R. Reuter, and B. von Kopp (Eds.), The Education Systems of Europe, 2nd edn (Switzerland: Springer International), pp. 709723.
10. Matras, Y. (2015) I Met Lucky People: The Story of the Romani Gypsies (UK: Penguin Random House).
11. Grellman cited in Hoyland, J. (2010 [1816]) A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies (Kindle Edition).Transcribed from the 1816 WM. Alexander edition by David Price, Kensington Library, London, p. 21.
12. Hoyland, J. (2010 [1816]) A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies (Kindle Edition). Transcribed from the 1816 WM. Alexander edition by David Price, Kensington Library, London, p. 21.
13. Matache, M. (2016) Word, image and thought: creating the Romani other. The Huffington Post blog, 3 October 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57f29d40e4b095bd896a156a?timestamp=1475519595732
14. Shohat, E. (1995) The struggle over representation: Casting, coalitions, and the politics of identification. In: R. de la Campa, E.A. Kaplan and M. Sprinkler (Eds.), Late Imperial Culture (New York: Verso), pp. 166178, p. 173.
15. Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (United States: Random House).
16. Ryan, Y. (2010) France to take Roma fingerprint. Al Jazeera, 2 October 2010, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2010/10/201010210568598174.html
17. Fraser, C. (2010) France fingerprints Roma deportees to prevent return. BBC News, 1 October 2010, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-11450831
18. European Roma Rights Center (2008) Security a la Italiana: Fingerprinting, Extreme Violence and Harassment of Roma in Italy. Retrieved from: http://www.errc.org/article/security-a-la-italiana-fingerprinting-extreme-violence-and-harassment-of-roma-in-italy/3050
19. de Bode, L. (2014) Italy mayor wants separate buses for Roma people. Al Jazeera, 27 October 2014. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/27/italy-mayor-wantsseparatebusesforromapeople.html
20. Meechan, S. (2015) Execute them: Councillor proposes shocking solution for removing travellers. Maidenhead Advertiser, 22 October 2015. http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/News/Areas/Maidenhead/Execute-them-Councillor-proposes-shocking-solution-for-removing-travellers-22102014.htm
21. Matache, M. and Bhabha, J. (2014) Modern Europe’s Roma: Still denied social justice, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, 2 August 2014, http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/ethics_online/0096
22. Nicolae, V. (2014) Hopefully, the end of blunders. Valeriu Nicolae, 4 April 2014 https://valeriucnicolae.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/hopefully-the-end-of-blunders/
23.Romani CRISS, Written comments of Romani CRISS. Follow up to ECRI’s third report on Romania, http://www.romanicriss.org/PDF/Written%20comments%20Romani%20CRISS_ECRI%20report.pdf
24. Balog, Zoltan who is in charge of Roma integration, fights for segregation, Hungarian Spectrum, n.d. http://hungarianspectrum.org/2014/11/26/zoltan-balog-who-is-in-charge-of-roma-integration-fights-for-segregation/
25. Dougherty, S. (2013) 14 unbelievable things European (and Canadian) politicians are saying about Roma. Global Post, 21 November 2013 http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/131118/14-unbelievably-racist-things-politicians-said-about-roma
26. Leaning, J., Bhabha, J., Fuller, A., Matache, M., Shnayerson, B., Bronsther, C., Ivanis, J. and Dobias, K. (2014 ) Accelerating Patterns of anti-Roma Violence in Hungary. FXB Center for Health and Human Rights (Boston: Harvard University), pp. 246. Retrieved from: https://cdn2.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/02/FXB-Hungary-Report_Released-February-3-2014.pdf
27.The official EU document entitled Resolution of the Council and the Ministers of Education meeting within the Council of 22 May 1989 on school provision for Gypsy and Traveller children. Official Journal of the European Communities, 21, 153/3–153/4. Retrieved from: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:41989X0621(01)&from=EN
28. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2012) Fundamental Rights: Challenges and Achievements in 2011 EU (Luxembourg: Office of the European Union).
29. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Annual Report (2009) Retrieved from: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/480-FRA-AnnualReport09_en.pdf
30. Bourdieu, P. (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
31. Matras, Y., Leggio, D.V., and Steel, M. (2015) Roma education as a lucrative niche: ideologies and representations. Zeitschrift für internationale Bildungsforschung und Entwicklungspädagogik, 38, pp. 1117.
32. Bruggemann, C. (2014) Romani culture and academic success: argument against the belief in a contradiction. Intercultural Education, 25, pp. 439452.
33. Steinberg, S. (2012) Two cheers for race and reflexivity. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35, pp. 608613.
34. Bruggemann, C. (2012) Roma education in comparative perspective: Findings from the UNDP/World Bank/EC Regional Roma Survey (2012). UNDP Europe and the CIS Bratislava Regional Center. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/pdf/Roma-Education-Comparative-Perspective-UNDP.pdf
35. Fundamental Rights Agency (2014) Roma survey – Data in focus. Education: the situation of Roma in 11 EU Member States. Retrieved from: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2014_roma-survey_education_tk0113748enc.pdf
36. European Commission (2014) Report on the implementation of the EU Roma Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/roma_implement_strategies2014_en.pdf
37.The official governmental document entitled ‘Strategy of the Government of Romania for the Inclusion of the Romanian Citizens Belonging to Roma Minority for 2015–2020’ can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/roma_romania_strategy2_en.pdf
38. Powell, A.A., Branscombe, N.R., and Schmitt, M.T. (2005) Inequality as ‘ingroup privilege’ or ‘outgroup disadvantage’: The impact of group focus on collective guilt and interracial attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(4), pp. 501521.
39. Barbulesc, Ovidiu, NGOs responsible for more than 20 years for Roma integration. The Government will use the money better. Mediafax, 11 July 2013. http://www.mediafax.ro/politic/ponta-ong-urile-responsabile-de-20-ani-pentru-integrarea-romilor-guvernul-va-folosi-mai-bine-banii-11117807
40.Additional information about the Decade of Roma Inclusion program can be found here: http://www.romadecade.org/
41. Rorke, B. (2012) Review of the EU Framework National Roma Strategies (2012). Open Society Foundations Review compiled by B. Rorke. Retrieved from: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/roma-integration-strategies-20120221.pdf
42. Rorke, Bernard et al. (2015) Decade Stocktaking (Budapest, Hungary: Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat).
43. Official European Commission document (2011) Working together for Roma inclusion: The EU Framework explained. Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/roma_slovakia_strategy_en.pdf
44. European Roma Policy Coalition (2012) Analysis of the National Roma Integration Strategies Retrieved from: http://www.ergonetwork.org/media/userfiles/media/Final%20ERPC%20Analysis%2021%2003%2012_FINAL.pdf
45. European Commission (2013) Steps forward in implementing national Roma integration strategies. Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/com_2013_454_en.pdf
46. Fundamental Rights Agency (2011) The situation of Roma in 11 EU member states. Retrieved from: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/2099-FRA-2012-Roma-at-a-glance_EN.pdf
47.The first summer kindergarten for Roma children was organized by Romani CRISS in August 2001. The average daily duration of activities increased steadily from 4 hours per day, in the first week, to 5 hours in the second week and to 6 hours in the third week. Teachers pursued language and mathematical skills development, games and creative activities, civic, artistic activities, etc. In addition, the programme has included the establishment of an Educational Support Center that helped children after school, in the first grade. However, among other similar projects, from 2009 to 2011, the Ministry of Education implemented a national summer kindergarten project in 420 disadvantaged Roma communities.
49. European Commission (2015) Report on the Implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/roma_communication2015_en.pdf
50. Stokes, B. (2015) Chapter 3: Global attitudes and trends, Faith in European project reviving. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from: http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/06/02/chapter-3-anti-minority-sentiment-not-rising/
51. Matache, M. (2014) The deficit of EU democracies: A new cycle of violence against Roma populations. Human Rights Quarterly, 36, pp. 325348. http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/ethics_online/0096
52. FXB Center for Health and Human Rights (2015) Strategies to Combat Segregation of Romani Children in Schools, Retrieved from (Boston: Harvard University). http://fxb.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/05/Roma-Segregation-full-final.pdf
53. Albert (translator), G. (2015) Czech Bank Survey shows almost half of SMEs would not hire a Romani person. Romea.cz, 27 July 2015. http://www.romea.cz/en/news/czech/czech-bank-survey-shows-almost-half-of-smes-would-not-hire-a-romani-person
54. Council of the European Union (2013) Council Recommendation on Effective Roma Integration Measures in the Member States. Retrieved from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/139979.pdf

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed