Integration of minorities: Lívia Járóka MEP receives Romanian excellence award

Integration of minorities: Lívia Járóka MEP receives Romanian excellence award

2010. 10. 31.

Last night, (30/10/10), Ovidiu Rom, an organisation promoting the integration of impoverished children into education, hosted a charity gala in Bucharest featuring Hollywood star Nicolas Cage. As part of the gala, the Romanian Foreign Minister presented this year's excellence award to the only Roma Member of the European Parliament, Lívia Járóka (EPP Group, Fidesz) acknowledging her activity in the social integration of minorities. The award was presented by the Romanian Foreign Minister himself.

In her acceptance speech, Járóka said it was a privilege to receive the award at a time when Europe seemed at last to recognise that the social exclusion of Europe's 12 million Roma community was a common European issue which demanded a common European response. She emphasised that receiving the award was a remarkable message that fostering the social inclusion of Roma was one of the most important strategic challenges that Europe faced. Járóka added that at the same time, tackling this challenge provided one of the most promising opportunities for the ageing and consumer-oriented continent to prove that Europe is a community not only in legal terms but also spiritually.

Járóka said she was glad that the event had been hosted by an organisation that supported the integration of disadvantaged children into education at an early age, since experiences and skills obtained at nursery level affected the later course of life and that early childhood education was therefore essential for disadvantaged children less inspired by their immediate environments to study. "Although developing and maintaining nursery education and care is rather expensive, the costs involved are far less than the aid for stay-at-home mothers and the loss of income resulting from the failure to participate in the labour market", she said. Mrs Járóka also expressed her hope that the European Union had the necessary power to set out a strategy to promote policies in this spirit. "I hope that the EU will be able to launch a strategy which aims to prevent the deep poverty of generations of minorities and enable the hopeless masses living in poverty today to become equal citizens of tomorrow."