Roma housing demolition in Varna - eviction case

13 October 2015

Despite Bulgaria’s commitment to equal treatment and promotion of Roma integration, the damage being done by the eviction and demolitions of houses in cities across the country sets back inter-ethnic relations many years. A most recent move is the demolition of  irregular dwellings in the Maksuda quarter in Varna.

The case was carefully analysed by our Bulgarian member organization Integro Association at the end of August 2015.

The report highlights the enormous gap between the officially professed Roma integration policies and the harsh reality where Roma families can be robbed of their homes virtually from one day to another. While no start has been made to realize promised the social housing projects in the country’s National Roma Integration Strategy and EU-funded Operational Programmes, the problem of irregular housing, which has been known for decades, is all but ignored.

The issue raises questions for the European Commission too. EU Member States willingly take the risk of being condemned by the European Court of Human Rights or UN Human Rights Committee, since the evictions in most cases clearly violate international obligations In practice the ‘comprehensive EU Framework for Roma Integration’ is of no effect in view of such practices.

“Does the EC consider the ex-ante conditionality of having a strategic national Roma inclusion policy on place, if it doesn’t address the issues faced by Roma”, asks Integro Director Lili Makaveeva.

Download full paper here: Roma housing demolition in Varna, Mladost district, Maksuda Roma neighborhood

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