Roma NGOs – A Smoke Screen for the EU

There are more than 200 NGOs that claim to improve the life of the Roma people in Romania, the country of origin for the vast majority of Roma that migrate to Western European Countries. One NGO for every 2500 Roma that officially live in Romania. These NGOs have reportedly spent almost 50 million Euros in the past decade, mostly on conferences, television adverts and printing flyers, with little good consequence for the lives of the poor Roma.

Many such NGOs only seem to exist on paper: they have no websites, mailing addresses and, sometimes, the few who have a telephone contact number don’t seem eager to take their calls.

There would be a lot of work to do for these NGOs: half of the abled body Roma people in Romania are jobless and about a third lack any qualiffications at all. 50 percent of all Roma teenagers are expected to drop out of high-school, according to an UNESCO survey. For most of them, going to France or Spain to beg seems the easiest solution. Those repatriated in 2010 are already packing to leave again, to the UK or to other countries.

The European Union is throwing millions of Euros in a bid to integrate, educate and to help the Roma find jobs and to go to schools. But how much of that money is really going to the aid of the people who need it?

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