A Short History of the Roma Ministry and its Magnificent works -2004 to 2011

*Euro-Narnia is a parallel world ruled over by the mighty Baroslan (Aslan is the ruler on Narnia) whose inhabitants discuss in strange and wonderful terms remedies for the Roma problem and not only. Any resemblance between Euro-Narnia and European Commission is certainly, purely accidental. Seniors can be seen similar to heads of units or directors. Royals are same level as Commissioners. Ministries are similar with Directorates Generals (DGs) at the European Commission.

 In 2004, swiftly (just a brief 20 years) after a forgotten and probably accidentally Euro-Narnian Report wrote that – the Roma peasants – faced serious hardships[1] in the Kingdom, an All Powerful Director of Seniors decided that something should be done. She took mighty risks and bravely came and spoke at a conference about Roma- a highly dangerous and unsafe place as some of us Roma peasants and our germs were present. Her words of wisdom are left eternally inscribed in the Holy Books of Euro-Narnia:

Yet the social exclusion and discrimination of Roma communities are well documented and despite all available legislative and financial instruments remain often extreme… While the protection and advancement of minorities are primarily the responsibility of Member States, it is an urgent issue that also demands a response from Euro-Narnia.

We were dazed. We did not understand much of what she said, but in our arrogant foolishness we thought the Euro-Narnians would start ‘urgently’ talking and working with us. Over eight years after we still wonder what “urgently” means in Euro-Narnian.

It is true the Ministry in charge of us announced with royal splendor same year that the strongest of all mechanisms had been put in place to fix our problems. It was called the ‘Informal Euro-Narnian Interservice Group on Roma Social Inclusion’.

Some full of malice traitors called this measure a window dressing measure. The Seniors decided to prove them wrong and appropriately decreed to dedicate a full working day each year to find for us the Path out of Exclusion. We were informed that thirteen Ministries would be part of the Group; meaning that each Ministry would dedicate at maximum half an hour per year to share and in some cases to work on appropriate solutions for us – the 12 million peasants. The levels of exhaustion following such strenuous work cannot even be imagined by mortals like us. The Seniors in their wisdom decided preventively that the full working day to be split in 2 meetings per year. Long resting periods in secluded locations were planned to be strongly enforced following the meetings in order to keep Seniors and Royals healthy. Fortunately (Baroslan be blessed) most Seniors were extremely professional and managed to avoid exhaustion through a brilliant method called non-attendance.

A few times the Group met (7 times in 5 years), they invited peasants (including me) or experts on peasants to speak for an hour at the beginning of the meeting. I remember that blessed day when I was invited to speak like it was a minute ago. I washed well and brushed my teeth and even used perfume to hide away our proverbial stench. I memorised some of the Mighty Words as recommended by a good Euro-Narnian. I did not understand them then, and I still do not understand them now, but here you have them: ‘Integrated approach in synergy with the anti-discrimination framework’.

The Director of Seniors felt that we might feel too threatened to be near her, and in her incredible wisdom and kindness she decided not to come and embarrass us with her wit and indescribable beauty. The majority of the Seniors who should have attended similarly made the kind decision to stay away. These Seniors (forever be their names blessed) decided that the Purest Reasoning (the only state in which decisions are made in Euro-Narnia) could not be reached if they risked exhaustion or contamination from our ideas, and those of the few low-level (rightly so) Euro-Narnians who had talked to peasants in the past.

So, they did not come to the meetings but they sent resistant to our germs non-Euro-Narnian interns (the lowest ranking humans with leave to walk freely in Euro-Narnia) to represent their glorious names. A very tiny minority of Seniors (mainly a mad Irish one) persisted in their ignorance and stubbornly came to the meetings.

The other Seniors considered the process completely compromised because of this minority (with whom they shared the same Holy Corridors), and as a result, they were not able to achieve the Purest Reasoning. The reasonable decision following from this was not to act in any way for several years, in order to avoid the risk that any impure and foolish outside ideas might make their way into the Green Pastures of Meditation and Brilliancy where Seniors and Royals ponder before taking decisions. At the end of a long period, the Enlightened Idea of a Report on Employment came out of the Purest Reasoning process. A carefully chosen Group of Aspiring Seniors was put in charge, led by a German Royal.

As with most Euro-Narnian Reports, this one reiterated most of what previous Holy Reports have said (repetition is the only way we peasants can learn). Several carefully crafted new words were introduced and bestowed entirely new Celestial Meanings to our understanding of the issues. Here is a short but beautiful example…

Discrimination in employment and occupation often exacerbates or perpetuates poverty, while poverty furthers discrimination at work in a vicious cycle. A lack of employment opportunities as well as work that is unproductive, insecure and unprotected are the main causes of the material deprivation and vulnerability that ethnic minority and migrants women experience. (Euro-Narnian Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Opinion on the Gender Dimension of the Inclusion of Ethnic Minorities (2007), p. 5f.)

You might remark on the fact that it is very similar to this text, created for another report:

Discrimination in employment and occupation often exacerbates or perpetuates poverty, while poverty furthers discrimination at work in a vicious cycle. Lack of work and work that is unproductive, insecure and unprotected are the main causes of the material deprivation and vulnerability that poor people experience. (ILO conference 2003 http://www.unicz.it/lavoro/ILO_TEW.pdf)

This is not ‘copy and paste’ or laziness as some vulgar peasants and vermin non-Euro-Narnian intellectuals call it, but rather Consistency with the Holy Path (Euro-Narnians call it the Consistent Method). One of our Roma was included in the Group – he was at that moment almost a Senior within another Kingdom (the high Organisation for the Secluded and Contemporary Enlightened – hOSCE). Most likely wishing to demonstrate to other Aspiring Seniors how Consistent he was, he contributed two papers that he had presented years before to peasant meetings that seemingly had nothing to do with Employment – the topic of the Report.

We questioned the almost-Senior peasant about this. He proved his Mastery by quickly reciting some of the Sacred Words: digital divide, Lisbon Strategy, acquis  communautaire, joint inclusion memorandum, reform action plan, and interconnectivity of the interdisciplinary approach. We agreed and respectfully applauded. He is clearly on his way to Senior Holiness.

Many of our peasants elites are indeed becoming more and more proficient with the Consistent Method – let’s hope that soon we will also have our well-deserved Seniors. We have already our own Royals that are much beyond the dreams and needs of the peasants but about them in another chapter.

As you might know, the Consistent Method is largely used nowadays not only by the best of us peasants but also by the Royals and Seniors of the Member States of the Kingdom. Our Romanian Prime-Senior recently joined the ranks of the Defense and Education Seniors of Germany, the King of Hungary and some of the Royals of the Euro-Narnian Parliament as he proved his Consistency.

But enough about the Consistent Method.

Back to the history of the Magnificent Work.

After three years a Royal Czech, a visiting Senior helped by a Deputy–Senior Slovak, cowardly and cunningly introduced an ‘Agenda of Action’ within Euro-Narnia. Some Holy Rules changed in a way that was transparent for us peasants, and the Interservice Group was replaced by the Euro-Narnian Platform for Roma Inclusion. This brought incredible shame upon the Kingdom and Seniors. Some Royals reacted swiftly and carefully extracted almost any chance for such action to happen again. All the culprits (Baroslan curse their names) ended up leaving the Holy Kingdom and joined competing Kingdoms that we are sure they will shame!

Roma issues were split between two Ministries and one of them was placed in charge (praised be its name and the Queen leading it). This split ensures that no peasant can clearly understand which ministry is responsible for what. The Euro-Narnian Seniors are rightly left to decide about it.

They also transformed what we wrongly thought was a good mechanism for action, the European Roma Platform, into the Holiest of all structures. It was defined accordingly as:

… an open and flexible mechanism of governance organised by Euro-Narnia … [it] aims at making existing policy processes more coherent and prepares the ground for synergies… is not a formal body but rather a process driven by participants.

Now, again, we have no idea what it means or what it does. But we have faith that the Seniors will reveal the meaning to us as soon as they emerge from what seems to be a Second Process of the Purest Reasoning (we have only been waiting for three years so far). Most likely this process was necessitated by the exhaustion resulting from such exacting work defining the Platform.

To ensure there will be no bickering peasants to disturb the Second Process of the Purest Reasoning, the Queen announced another Magnificent Initiative: a Task Force on Roma Inclusion. The middle Senior and the Senior in charge of the Task Force were carefully chosen from the Euro-Narnians. They had to have as little political clout as possible (and this was achieved by selecting them from the poorest and second smallest of the Member States of Euro-Narnia). They also had to prove they were completely untainted and never did anything even remotely linked to us peasants.

The history of the Euro-Narnian Policy for Roma will be told in a separate chapter.

[1] ‘exclusion and discrimination’ in Euro-Narnian

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