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II European Roma Summit: Calling for Political Will for Roma Inclusion

II European Roma Summit: Calling for Political Will for Roma Inclusion

April 11, 2010

The former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Philip Dimitrov, addressed this forum (Córdoba, 8-9 April 2010) in a round table that examined the progress and challenges of European and national policies in addressing the Roma inclusion.

The round table was moderated by the Spanish Minister for Health and Social Policy, Ms. Trinidad Jimenez, and included the participation of Mr. George Soros, chairman of the OSI, and High Level representatives from the World Bank, the EU and UNDP, respectively. In his speech, PM Dimitrov appealed for increased political will and support in the advancement of Roma inclusion in Europe “We should feel ashamed that Roma people in Europe still face ethnic profiling and very limited access to education, employment, housing and health. As long as this continues, we will be betraying ourselves as Europeans and as rational human beings”.

Using his own country as an example, where the overall cost of Roma integration is estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.1 billion leva for a 10-year period, he also highlighted the positive effects of Roma integration, “which actually outrun the costs 20 to 30 times”, in terms of economized social assistance, increased labor, or lower mortality and criminality rates.

Main ideas of PM Dimitrov’s speech

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