People warm up around a fire, early on September 16, 2008, in a Roms settlement in Palaiseau, south of Paris.

Europe battles to fix plight of marginalized citizens.

Roma’s Dilemma

January 2010, Number 01.01

“Imagine being poor and not having identification, an education, a job, social support, access to health care or legal representation. Imagine facing verbal abuse, forced evictions, property destruction, police intimidation and physical assault on a daily basis, not because of something you did or did not do, but simply because of your ethnicity.

That is the stark reality for many of the 10 to 12 million Roma people living in Europe today. Roma is an umbrella term for groups sharing similar cultural characteristics and a history of persistent marginalization in European societies. Names for these groups include the Roma, Sinti, Travellers, Ashkali, Kalé and others.

“Roma are one of the largest ethnic minorities in the EU, but too often they are Europe's forgotten citizens,” said Vladimír Špidla, the European Commission member responsible for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities. “They face persistent discrimination and far-reaching social exclusion,” he said, commenting on a 2008 EC report on the Roma.

Random acts of violence against the Roma throughout the European Union in 2009 again brought light to the centuries-old problem — that being Roma is a social disadvantage...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Roma’s Dilemma,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 1, 2010: 60-63.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.