Politics

Politics (6)

Myths about Roma education are widely used in the academia produced by governmental and non-governmental agencies. One of them says “Roma parents frequently do not regard education as necessary and do not encourage their children to stay in school” (Friedrich Ebert Schtiftung, 2002, 19) such statements are very dangerous because they produce different stereotypes and prejudices, which very often result in the exclusion of a particular group. Nevertheless, the socio-economic situation of Roma also plays a significant role in this process. Combined all of the above mention dimensions produce exclusion and xenophobia of Roma minority. However, one of the major problem that Roma minority face is the school segregation. In the latest Human Right Report by United States Department for Hungary it is stated:

“Segregation of Romani schoolchildren remained a problem. NGOs and government officials estimated that one-third of Romani children were educated in segregated classes and that school officials placed 20 percent, without justification, in remedial classes for children with mental disabilities, effectively segregating them from other students. Schools with a majority of Romani students employed simplified teaching curricula, were generally less well equipped, and were in significantly worse physical condition than those with non-Romani majorities” (Human Rights Report 2013, 1)

Reports such this from the United States Department, just confirms the assumption that Roma children are exposed to study in segregated schools without any justification, the number of 20% is frightening. On January 29th, 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that European governments must end segregation and discrimination against Roma children in schools. In the case of Horvath and Kiss v. Hungary, the Court found that Hungary had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by segregating Romani children in a special school – following a legal struggle that began in 2006. The Court noted that Roma children had been over-represented in the past in special schools due to the systematic misdiagnosis of mental disability. Still is believed that most of the Roma children are placed in the special schools due to their ethnicity and social status.

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Europe in the 21st century is facing a serious problem so called "asylum seekers." Visa liberalizations provide benefits to the Macedonian citizens, but not to the Roma minority living in Macedonia. In this content analysis, you can read more about how European policies are affecting third world countries that include and the Republic of Macedonia. Also, you will perceive what are the main challenges faced by the countries of the third world, but also the European Union and other institutions within the EU.

With the Single European Act of 1986 was made a major milestone. With the Act is envisaged (Article 8, later Article 14 of the Treaty of Amsterdam)[1] creating a single internal market based on the four freedoms:

  • Goods;
  • Persons;
  • Services;
  • Capital 

The free movement of persons throughout the European Union without internal borders is raised to the level of fundamental aim in accordance with implicit determination for creating an appropriate legal and institutional structure that would guarantee the new principle, by accepting the so-called "Compensatory measures", such as strengthening the control of external borders and building a common policy on asylum and immigration.

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One of the most interesting anthropological and political topic in the late XIX and XX century was the study of the history of nations, their distinct cultures, and identities. Throughout the history, European nations have endured and surpassed challenges preserving their sovereignty and territory. Today, the subjective political world depends on the interests of the nation states and the power to dominate the international scene. Roma as a nation inhabited the European continent in the XII century[1] without any opportunity and tendency for territorial, cultural unification. However, the “white” continent continuously evolved throughout history, groups of people unified in nations protecting themselves and their interests through their national states. They protected their cultural heritage and upgraded for unity and unification, while Roma, who settled in the existing nation states as the “others” had to adjust to the conditions set by the majority of the countries that they settled.

This paper aims to analyze and deconstruct the concepts of formation of a nation, cultural development and identity with the emphasis on the Roma in the process of creating a multi-state nation with unified culture and identity. In this paper, I also present facts and the literature arguments that establish the standardization of widely accepted understandings of the concepts mentioned above.

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When we search for an adequate explanation about politics, there are various definitions from different historical periods. Up to the 19th century, the philosophers defined it as a skill for governance, which was related to warfare, conquest and superiority of nations[1]. The modern definition of politics started in the 20th century, and it was directed towards the institutional governance and maintenance of law and order in the state.[2] The different types of political regimes and ideologies influenced the understanding and definition of politics and political processes. Throughout the history of social development, a division of ideals and political persuasion appears. Organized groups of like-minded people about the political processes, governance and understanding of society are institutionalized in political parties.

According to Schreyer и Schwarzmeier parties’ development depends on the structure of the membership in the electoral districts, social structure, organizational structure, goals of the party, ideologies, access to the political system and access to governance[3]. This division in the democratic system of governance, as the most effective way of ruling, improves parties’ profiles so that they would compete for the citizens’ trust. Political parties use different methods in order to gain voters’ trust and to represent their interests.

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According to the definition every attempt to organize people themselves through same ideology and to achieve certain goals should be considered as a social movement. This means that any attempt on formal or informal group of Roma through particular idea and achieving certain interests is considered as a movement. It is important to note that every social movement has its own life cycle: it is created, achieve success or failure and eventually turns into something else, or cease to exist[1].

It is assumed that more serious attempts of creating Roma movement started in the early 90's with the self-organizing of Romani activists by the formation of NGOs. The attempts of creating the Roma Union and initial ideas of self-definition are still present and as such they are taken into consideration this analysis. The beginnings of the Roma movement viewed through a historical perspective can be considered from 1971 by keeping the first Roma Congress and the creation of the Roma Union. Beginnings of the so called "Roma movement" cause a significant change in the behavior towards Roma in the society. It can be freely say that before coping with the political and social reality of the Roma was defined "outside" by various systems of power and the majority population.

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By introducing the pluralism in the Republic of Macedonia, Roma gained the right to take part and to contribute for democratic development in the political and legal system of the state. The practice of the democratic culture among the Roma community does not significantly differ from the overall democratic and political environment in the country. Every democratic country is undergoing a process of implementation of conditions such as rule of law, high level of civil and political liberties, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom to form and join organizations.[1] After 20 years of practicing pluralism in the country, the development of the political culture of Roma is presented in two periods – before the Ohrid Framework Agreement and after the Ohrid Framework Agreement. According to the results and the behavior of Roma political parties, it is evident that the parties failed optimally to utilize the given opportunities initiated by the principles of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

The modifications of the Constitution in 2001 preloaded new principles with the Framework Agreement, which was a balance in the redefinition of the constituent elements of the state. This included major communities and the Roma community as well. This act represents an opportunity for the Roma political élite and at the same time commitment to support the multi-ethnic character of the state. In the period from 1990 to 1998, the Roma community in Macedonia formed three political parties represented by one Member of Parliament and lack of institutional representation. While in the period from 2002 to 2006 there were five more parties registered. This process was counterproductive for the Roma community due to the division of the Roma electorate instead of consolidation derived from the new constitutional changes. The Roma political parties entered the process of fragmentation of the electorate that further reduced the value and impact of the voice of the Roma community.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political competition of Roma political parties in the period from 1991 to 2013 by using the behavioral theory by Kaare Strom. Furthermore, it explains how Roma political parties emerged and what the benefits of the Ohrid Framework Agreement were. The concluding remarks are presented at the very end of this paper.

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