Warum uns das Schicksal der Roma in Europa ein Anliegen sein soll

Gemeinsam mit der Weltbank, dem Open Society Institute und der Europäischen Kommission als Sponsoren veranstaltet die ungarische Regierung vom 30. Juni bis 1. Juli 2003 in Budapest eine Konferenz zum Thema ,,Die Roma im erweiterten Europa: Herausforderungen für die Zukunft". Im vorliegenden Artikel erörtern der Präsident der Weltbank und der Vorsitzende des Open Society Institute Probleme, die in Angriff genommen werden müssen.

In den Ländern Mittel- und Osteuropas verbringen Kinder und Jugendliche der Roma zu oft ihre Zeit auf Mülldeponien. Nachdem sie aus Geldmangel keine Schule besuchen können, durchsuchen sie den Unrat nach Altpapier und anderen verwertbaren Abfällen, um sich so wenigstens etwas Geld für Essen zu verdienen. Zu viele Roma-Familien leben in winzigen und oft überfüllten Holz- oder Blechhütten ohne Strom und Fließwasser und ohne Zukunftsperspektive. Ein ähnliches Bild, wenngleich in etwas milderer Form, bietet sich in Mitgliedsländern der Europäischen Union, wo ebenfalls Roma-Minderheiten leben.

Zwischen der europäischen Mehrheitsbevölkerung und den Roma oder ,,Zigeunern", von denen viele in extremer Armut leben, gibt es eine tiefe sozioökonomische Kluft. Wird dagegen nichts unternommen, droht diese Armut zu einer ständigen Belastung des europäischen Wohlstandes zu werden, was für Roma und Nicht-Roma gleichermaßen zu einer Tragödie werden könnte.

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