Bulgaria Among Positive Examples for Roma Inclusion – EC President
Bulgarian town of Kavarna is a positive example in the EU for Roma inclusion, President of the European Commission Jos? Manuel Barroso said, Friday.
The Black Sea town of Kavarna was named along with Berlin (Germany), Montreuil (France) and Craiova (Romania) at the European Roma Summit dedicated to the integration of the largest minority in the EU.
"A society is only strong when it takes care of its weakest members," Barroso pointed out.
Making sure that a higher share of European funds are mobilized to fight poverty and to meet the needs of those, like the Roma, who are socially excluded is among the EC priorities, President Barroso claimed.
At least EUR 80B will be allocated to investment in human capital, employment and social inclusion through the European Social Fund and at least 20%, compared with today 17%, of the Social Fund must be earmarked to fight social exclusion and poverty. Also Roma education projects, some of them implemented in cooperation with the Council of Europe and by relevant NGOs, are supported by the Commission through different EU programs.
According to Barroso, it was unacceptable that many Roma people were still living in utmost poverty and suffered social exclusion.
"It is unacceptable that in some places Roma children are sent to the only school in the vicinity – a school for mentally disabled children – with no hope of reaching their true potential in education and employment. It is unacceptable that Roma people still face discrimination in hospitals, companies and schools; that they remain without adequate housing, without a future," he added.
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Zlatanova also took part in the discussions.
In her speech, Zlatanova said that the Roma inclusion is of general interest, particularly in countries with a high percentage of Roma population.
She claimed that 2013-2014 state budget has allocated funds to dozens of organizations involved in Roma integration activities.
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