Slovakia: Missing system and systematic work with Roma issues
Košice August, 15 (RPA) – Representatives of the European Union were in Slovakia in may to check how money earmarked for resolving the problems of the Roma is being used. EK organized High Level Event on the Structural Funds contribution to Roma integration in Slovakia. The conference was in Bratislava and in Košice.
Euro commissioner László Andor and vice-chairman of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič wanted to assess the contribution of European funds for integration of the Roma. “Commission are obviously always troubled when we see that European resources are not used properly, or when projects we know about, which are good, which bring new jobs and solve problems, and then on site we see that the opposite is true, or that this is decidedly not as successful as we had expected,” said Mr. Maroš Šefčovič.
According Zdenko Trebuľa, chairman of the Košice Self-governing region, system is missing. “I am deeply convinced that a system and systematic work are lacking. For the past 20 years I’ve only seen campaign promises for resolving problems. Someone always came to start a one-two-three-year project, and when it finally got going and began to work, it was cancelled; again someone came with a different project, but as if it were part of the system, some condition would arise around which the projects had to work, so that it didn’t work and perhaps also because the people who move around this are constantly changing, as if they don’t acknowledge the position of local and regional government. Who could be better than the village or town, the region, the mayors, representatives, who know the details of these problems and know what needs to be done?”
Situation critised as well Jarmila Vaňová, program director of Roma media centre (MECEM): ô No one wants to admit that so-called European money for the Roma is being lost into a black hole. The society is already disgusted if there is talk of additional millions of investment in our minority, if the impact is not on the level we would like or expect. This then evokes even greater aversion toward the Roma. They love us when there are projects, but when the project ends, the interest in us and our lives ends, too.”