How the EU Gypped the Roma: A Story of Minority Rights and Non-discrimination Law in Central and Eastern Europe
The situation of the Roma raises many tough questions for both majority societies and Romani communities alike. How can a community whose identity is based largely on the concept of isolation be effectively integrated in to the larger society? How can stereotypes and misconceptions about the Roma be dispelled when their economic marginalization does lead many Roma to turn to a life of petty crime? What is the role of a transnational organization in promoting the rights of citizens when the state in which they reside is the violator of those rights? My research suggests that the European Union does have such a role and an obligation to its Romani citizens. Only when the EU and its member states recognize that individual rights and individual justice are insufficient to fight systematic oppression and when it recognizes the role of minority rights and self-administration will the Roma have any hope of attaining their full rights as European citizens.