Status quo not an option for Central and Eastern European Roma, study finds

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Researchers who have investigated the issues faced by Roma in six EU countries have called for more investment in anti-poverty initiatives and the development of better leadership skills among Roma communities.

Researchers who have investigated the issues faced by Roma in six EU countries have called for more investment in anti-poverty initiatives and the development of better leadership skills among Roma communities.

The research explores the social exclusion of Roma in six EU countries and is being launched today (Tuesday 5 March) in Brussels by University of Salford academics.

Salford was one of the key partners on the two year EU funded project, which was led by Migration Yorkshire and included partners in Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria.

The research outlines findings across a number of issues including: work and unemployment, community relations and social welfare. In particular it highlights how the poverty and discrimination faced by Roma underpins their ongoing social exclusion. Specifically the report states, ‘The on-going social exclusion experienced by many Roma communities is expensive in both financial and social terms. The maintenance of the status quo is not a viable option.’

Professor Peter Dwyer, from Salford’s College of Health & Social Care, stated: “While it’s well established that many Roma across Europe have poorer outcomes in respect of education, health and employment, this report highlights some of the complexity that exists across Member States with regards to how these issues are experienced by Roma in their day-to-day lives.”

The report suggests a number of key recommendations for both policy makers and community-based practitioners throughout Europe. These include targeted anti-poverty initiatives, but also investment in leadership within Roma communities in order to bridge the gap between Roma and key service providers.

Dr Phil Brown from the Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit added: “The relationships between Roma and non-Roma are complex. Just as there is well-established discrimination and violence, there are also incidences of positive relations and friendships. Along with addressing some of the structural issues these should be the basis of encouraging greater inclusion of Roma across the EU.”

University of Salford researchers Professor Peter Dwyer (School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work), Dr Philip Brown and Dr Lisa Scullion (Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit) formed a cross-disciplinary collaboration to deliver the core research component of the project.

To request the final report visit the Roma SOURCE website.