Europe’s Roma communities need work and knowledge

2022. 10. 12.

The First International Roma Entrepreneurs and Leaders Forum took place yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament, organised by Fidesz MEP Lívia Járóka. “The consequences of the misguided Brussels sanctions – energy crisis, layoffs – will be felt first by the poorest. Therefore, we must do everything to protect jobs and to support and maintain small and medium-sized enterprises”, emphasised Lívia Járóka. The event was also attended by Attila Sztojka, Fidesz Member of Parliament and Government Commissioner for Roma Relations, who said that Hungary is a leader in the Roma issue and that the government’s measures to protect jobs and ensure energy security for families will further increase the protection of disadvantaged people. Misguided Brussels sanctions, however, are also jeopardising Hungarian results. He emphasised that the negative effects of Brussels’ sanctions policy could be improved if the EU were to make available to Hungary the EU funds available to Member States:

“Our aim with the First International Roma Entrepreneurs and Leaders Forum is to create an opportunity for dialogue, the exchange of experiences, and the sharing of good practices with representatives of the EU institutions and the parties concerned. Hungary is performing well in implementing the EU Roma strategy, and we would like to share our best practices with other countries”, said Lívia Járóka. She noted that the poorest are the first to feel the effects of the crisis as a result of the misguided sanctions by Brussels. “It is essential that we provide protection for small and medium-sized enterprises, and for this, a new Roma fund should be set up”, underlined the MEP.

Government Commissioner Attila Sztojka pointed out that the Hungarian policy has achieved commendable results in the past ten years: the number of people living in poverty has decreased by one million, and the employment rate of disadvantaged people, including the Roma, has increased by 50 percent. Hungary is a leader in the Roma issue in the EU. The misguided EU sanctions, however, could have a negative impact on the achievements of the Hungarian government. “Protecting jobs is a top priority because if there is work, there is everything”, he emphasised. “Flawed decisions by Brussels would be easier to correct if the European Union made available to Hungary the same EU funds that are available to all EU Member States”, noted Sztojka.

Background: The First International Roma Entrepreneurs and Leaders Forum took place on 11 October 2022, aiming to provide a common platform for Member States, institutions of the European Union, partner and civil society organisations and other parties looking to share knowledge and experiences and promote Roma interests in the labour market, business and entrepreneurship. The Conference was attended by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament; Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement; Dan Pavel Doghi, Team Leader; Zuzana Dorazilova, representing the Commission; and a number of political actors and representatives of NGOs from around the world.