“You can’t fix the Roma”

23 March 2011

Policymakers must start changing their perspective to Roma issues, said ERGO Network’s Valeriu Nicolae today.  “You cannot fix the Roma,” Nicolae said, “but that has always been the approach: how to house us, how to get us to work, how to get us to school. It will not work.” Nicolae spoke at the presentation of the book “Roma: A European Minority”, published by the S&D Group in the European Parliament, to which both he and Lili Makaveeva, of Integro Association, contributed.

The Socialist & Democrat Group in the European Parliament today presented its book “Roma: A European Minority. The Challenge of Diversity.” ERGO Network Advocacy Director and Director of the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities in Bucharest, Valeriu Nicolae, was one of three speakers at the presentation event.

Valeriu Nicolae welcomed the European Commissioner’s Vivian Reding’s video message, but stressed that the rhetoric may be excellent, it’s the action that matters. “We need to get real, and to do that we need to work with the local administrations. That is what the European strategy needs to do. Right now, the distance between the local level and Brussels is simply to great.” In the run-up to the presentation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies by the European Commission on 5 April 2011, Valeriu Nicolae pointed out that neither Roma civil society, nor local administrations had been involved in the development of the proposal.

Lili Makaveeva, Director of ERGO Network member Integro Association, also wrote a chapter in the book. In her contribution she emphasizes the crucial importance of civic participation of Roma and the role of grassroots activists. As Nicolae, Lili Makaveeva stressed the key role of local administrations and their engagement with Roma communities.

Among other contributors to the book, which also includes an exclusive interview with German author Günter Grass, are George Soros, European Commissioners Reding and Andor, Ivan Krastev (Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria), Martin Kovats (Birkbeck College, University of London) and Isidro Rodriguez (Director of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano).

You can download the book here.




This website has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" (2014-2020).

For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi

The information contained in this website does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission.










Sign the petition for Minimum Measures for Roma Participation in the EU and MS policy processes





RomaReact multimedia platform


Our Place


Our Place, Our Space, Our Case campaign




REACT campaign



Join us on facebook!


Alle rechten voorbehouden
Vormgeving en realisatie: www.hamaka.nl