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Romanian Prime Minister: Important progress in recent years as regards Roma inclusion

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In recent years, Romania has made important progress as regards Roma inclusion, but the adopted measures have not sorted out all the issues, therefore the government is paying increased attention to eliminating them, is Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca’s message conveyed on Monday on the occasion of Roma Emancipation Day and delivered by the head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery Mircea Abrudean to the event „Roma for Romania” organized at the Victoria Palace, according to Agerpres.

„Today we mark Roma Emancipation Day, a landmark moment in our modern history that signifies the renunciation of anachronistic behaviors and mentalities and the Romanian space getting in sync with the great aspirations and universal values of humanity. This day also offers us the opportunity to emphasize the importance of correctly and responsibly owning up to the traumatic past in parallel with the reaffirmation of the commitment to strengthen an inclusive society deeply attached to fundamental rights and freedoms in which every citizen can express and develop their ethnic, religious, linguistic or cultural identity,” Nicolae Ciuca underscored.

He added that the emancipation of the Roma in 1856 was the result of a concerted effort by the Forty-Eighters who embarked on a long and hard struggle with the prejudices and stereotypes dominant among the elites of the time.

„The act of February 20, 1856 was a fair and timely one, but incomplete. For the Roma, it could not erase the traces of centuries of slavery, humiliation and discrimination, economic precariousness, nor the traumas passed down from one generation to another, as it could also not stop the prejudices of the majority. Only the December 1989 Revolution created the conditions for all Romanian citizens to benefit from the advantages of freedom, to develop and be able to actively participate in the economic, social and cultural developments,” said the prime minister.

According to him, supporting Roma education, culture and traditions are the main pillars of inclusion.

„By identifying solutions for the challenges of the present still marked by prejudices, racist and discriminatory attitudes, we are laying the foundations for a stable future, and supporting education and promoting Roma identity, culture and traditions are the main pillars of the Roma inclusion process. That is precisely why today’s event that celebrates the educational performance of Roma students, but also the successful models among the Roma minority are part of the normality of a society strongly attached to the fundamental values that offer equal opportunities to all its citizens. Dear students, I congratulate you for the results obtained, for your perseverance and creativity. Through your work and dedication, you are models for the young generation and I express my conviction that you will become the landmarks of tomorrow’s society. I urge you to continue with the same energy along this path of performance that can help you fulfill your dreams and embrace the professions that you want, contributing at the same time to the smooth running of society,” the head of the Executive said.

He pointed out the importance of the Strategy for the inclusion of Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity.

„In recent years, Romania has made important progress as regards the Roma inclusion process, but the adopted measures have not solved all the problems faced by the Roma minority. Social and economic gaps, discrimination and prejudice are just a part of the issues that negatively influence the life of the Roma in our country, which is why the government is paying increased attention to their elimination. To this aim, the Strategy for the inclusion of Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority adopted last year focuses on improving living conditions, ensuring access to an inclusive education system, increasing the employment rate, improving the health status of the members of vulnerable Roma communities. Moreover, the strategy places a special emphasis on the valorization of Roma identity, on promoting the Roma cultural heritage, as well as on combating discrimination, anti-Roma rhetoric and attitudes. It is important that the result of the measures included in the action plan of the strategy generates a real, beneficial and promising change in the life of the Roma communities in our country,” Ciuca emphasized.

According to him, „only by promoting education, dialogue, respect for human rights, by correctly owning up to the traumatic past and honoring the contribution of the Roma to the development of the state, can we fight racist and xenophobic attitudes and strengthen the society we all desire, while at the same time guaranteeing a better future for the next generations.”

Agerpres

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