In Roma Inclusion: A Feasible EU Project? Dr Popova explores, to what extent the combination of ethnic and social determinants underlying Roma issues have been sufficiently taken into account by the EU.
The context is the most recent years’ EU endeavors in the field of Roma inclusion. Instructive for Dr Popova is the formulation about EU’s “explicit but not exclusive targeting” of Roma. On this background, Dr Popova asks her basic question, if it is “… really feasible to remove the ethnic/cultural elements from a development strategy?”
However, in the ECMI Working Paper #75 analysis, Dr Popova addresses many more aspects of this basic question and how Roma inclusion can become a feasible EU undertaking altogether? Popova’s conclusions show that she is looking for much more than just the EU’s current cultural blindness:
“Achieving an overall positive change requires not only a common general EU framework and a common structured approach to inclusion but also synchronised procedures [between EU member states] and suitable efficient measures to address respective issues.”
“In the age of globalization a structural approach to developmental challenges require more than a mutual agreement [between EU member states] on a policy framework and targeted outcomes. Coordination of processes and measures and synchronization of efforts in the 21st century depend largely on finding a common platform of understanding, ‘language’ and intervention procedures and mechanisms.”
“Understanding the role of culture as a factor behind socio-economic tendencies, predispositions, and actions is crucial for the development of strategies that aim at fostering changes in a non-mainstream community.”
“An integrated approach to Roma inclusion aiming at fostering a positive societal change should ensure that subjective factors risks such as various levels of experience and expertise of national governments, knowledge gaps, and lack of capacities or political will are overcome. The elaboration of such an integrated in-depth strategy … requires a critical assessment of the problems and identification of the cross-cutting measures that could be implemented through synchronised and coordinated efforts.”
Senior Research Associate Dr Zora Popova is heading up the Culture & Diversity Cluster @ European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI).
Read also: Dr Zora Popova is new head of ECMI’s Culture and Diversity Cluster