Roma in Eastern Europe : ethnic policy and security in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania
Hajek, Richard P.
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From the time Roma arrived in Europe during the Middle Ages, their presence as often resulted in friction with the other peoples of Central and Eastern Europe. This generalization and indigenous attitude applies today. Due to the Roma's unique culture, customs, language, and social structure, they are not integrated into Central and Eastern European society. Moreover, Roma are a target of racial bias and discrimination, especially during times of social and political turmoil. At the turn of the century, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania are all undergoing tremendous change, with the Roma as a focus for society's ills. Security problems, arising therefrom, include migration, high demographic birthrate, illiteracy, unemployment, and criminal behavior. Therefore an effective program of integrating Roma into the new democracies is necessary. The new democracies must also improve minority rights in order to join European security and economic organizations. Membership is essential for the survival of democracy in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania.
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