Romalitico (5)

After a series of gruesome events in the past weeks in Syria, Russia and Sweden, media (including social media) turned their attention in reporting and raising awareness about the situations. One thing that media missed or neglected to report was the discriminatory language at the European Parliament. Maria Bizzotto and Angelo Ciocca from Lega Nord discriminated Roma at the debate session on behalf of the International Roma Day. Although freedom of speech is one of the basic principles of democracy and should be respected, MEPs should not be at liberty to use discriminatory language. All citizens and constituencies should be equally respected. When Korwin-Mikke discriminated against women for being less intelligent and weaker than men, president Tajani reacted to these sexist statements. Will Tajani react on the discriminatory language by the Parliament representatives or will he neglect the situation due to lack of media coverage?

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Policy brief on Migration of Roma in EU: The case of Romani asylum seekers from Western Balkans. This policy brief provides data and policy recommendations aimed to confirm that temporary and/or permanent systems of reintegration for Roma asylum seekers in the Western Balkans 5 states (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia).


For full view and download in .pdf format click here

For an interactive view of the brief click here


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Throughout the centuries, different types of institutional policies towards Roma impede their development and emancipation. Variety of policies were ranged from forbidding the Roma language to persecutions as well as mass evictions and revival of anti-Roma racism in the latest of our time. All these practices and policies primarily had an ultimate aim to extinguish the Roma cultures or fix them in accordance to the needs of the majoritarian societies. In the last three decades, the existing mainstream institutions endorsed a model of assimilation for integrating the minorities through the system of education and promotion of the state culture as a convergence between minorities and the majority.

However, Roma survived and during the years developed a “strategy of survival” often through hiding or denial of their identity. Up until a recent period, Roma have been defined by non-Roma from different perspectives. As the Romani scholar Ian Hancock (2002) once said that when a community loses a sense of its own history, when you cannot tell people where you came from, it's open season for outsiders to construct and define your identity. Or in the case of Roma as Mihai Surdu claims “Roma have been subjected to a variety of scientific practices such as counting, classifying, demographic predictions, mapping, photographing, and DNA profiling”[1] he also adds that “all these practices are part and parcel of a trained vision that itself needs to be observed.”[2] In this regard, we are witnessing a undignified representation of Roma cultural values in academic research which in the last decade managed to (re)construct from a distorted interpretations, being far from the Roma reality, yet, strong enough to “define” who Roma are, what Romani identity is.

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According to different sources of literature, there is an ongoing debate whether Roma during the Second World War were part of the Holocaust notion or “just another” trauma, like many other, past and present events. Nevertheless, the “Fotgotten” Holocaust of Roma (Samudaripen) is part of the Roma history which must not be in any case forgotten.

The forgotten Holocaust represents an elimination of about 220,000 Roma during Nazi period. It is difficult to show the actual number of victims due to the long denied chapter of the Holocaust, however, predictions are between 250.000 to 500.000 Roma. The fate of the Roma is similar to that of the Jews. German Nazis have easily persuaded the rest of the world by "proving" that the Roma nation is racially inferior to others by using the existing social prejudice against Roma. In such context, many Roma from the vicinity of Poland, Russia, Germany Hungary and other countries were deported to a concentration camp in Auschwitz – Birkenau where the Roma concentration camps were established. The difference with the Jewish camps was that Roma families were not divided; entire families with their children were kept together in those camps. Furthermore, it is discussed that the responsible person for the Roma camp was Doctor Josef Mengele who performed different experiments on the Roma population, especially on Roma children. Different testimonies of many children show that he behaved like a father, acting generously, tempting them with chocolates to his office where he performed all pH experiments, testing their endurance with a quiet death. Many Roma in this period, despite such persecution die of hunger, exhaustion and diseases (typhoid) etc.

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This study presents the results of the public opinion survey, conducted by Romalitico. The research consists of an online survey with questions related to the parliamentary elections and the trust in the Roma political parties. The survey was conveyed during the period from November 14th to April 18th, 2014, on a sample of 350 people.

Internet (online) survey is one of the newest and most modern research tools for measuring the public opinion. These surveys provide a space for measuring the general public opinion in various topics, but often in areas such as health, economy and politics in order to obtain different descriptive and inferential statistics.

Romalitico for the first-time conducts an online survey to test the public opinion of Roma in Macedonia about the Roma political parties and their work. The primary goal of this survey is to capture the opinion of the Roma middle class because we believe that this group is driving the changes in society and is less vulnerable to electoral manipulation. The initial assumption, based on previous research (Ncube, 2011); (Dunlap, 2008), was that the population that has access to the Internet, in fact, represented the so-called Roma middle class.

Romalitico with this research brought a new dimension to the political situation of the Roma electorate, which is of common importance to the public and Roma political parties. In addition, this survey has a goal to produce a public debate about the focus on the parties and their expectations in the next parliamentary elections.

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