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Romania’s Roma Population: From Marginality to Social Integration

Domenii publicaţii > Ştiinţele pământului şi planetare + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Cretan, Remus; Turnock, David

Editorial: Routledge, Scottisch Geographical Journal, 124: 4, p.274-299, 2008.


Among several groups vulnerable to discrimination in 21st century Europe, Roma loom large because the poorer, traditionally-minded elements continue to resist integration and remain on the margins of society. Most of the people involved have become EU citizens as a result of recent accession by East Central European countries where marginalisation has been tolerated, with varying degrees of discrimination, ever since the 19th century abolition of feudalism. In the interest of a more inclusive society, Roma are now being encouraged to strive for living standards comparable with those enjoyed by the mainstream population. This paper concentrates on Romania, which has one of the largest Roma communities in Europe. We profile the situation with some reference to regional geographies and previous policy history. We examine the key concepts relevant to marginality, arguing for an element of self-exclusion, because while many Roma elements have been successfully assimilated over the years, a large residual element insists on preserving elements of ‘identity’, implying separation from the mainstream in terms of the modernising ethos and the rule of law. The main thrust of the paper rests with a comprehensive programme to improve the condition of the Roma community as a major element among a number of other factors which are working towards the same objective. We give particular attention to the education programme that is now making significant progress.

Cuvinte cheie: Exclusion East Central Europe EU accession marginality, Roma, Romania, social integration