The European Commission solution – „Roma communities must help themselves get out of this difficult situation”

A few days ago the Commissioner in charge of Roma spoke about her solution for Roma inclusion in Bulgaria.

What first got my attention was the number of I, me, my in her short response on Roma – almost incredible for somebody that represents a bureaucratic institutions and a strong sign of an inflated ego.

Here an analysis and response to her intervention. Her speech in italics.

I am the first Commissioner who took up the fate of the Roma during, you remember, when whole families, whole groups of ethnic minorities were deported from France.And at one point I said to President Sarkozy: „Enough!” He still has not forgiven me for that. Since then, we have a Roma Platform …“

Indeed mighty and blessed Commissioner you are our Savior. We can barely imagine how we could live without you taking up our fate. We will praise you forever.

Now, for the sake of accuracy let’s make a few things clear.

  1. Saying that you were the FIRST Commissioner taking up our fate in a circumstance when you were the only one that could have done so is yet another sign of a dangerously self-inflated ego. You were the Commissioner responsible for Roma and Justice in the EU therefore you were THE Commissioner that should have reacted – ( it is like I would say that I am  the FIRST Human to write on a computer and ignore that it is a specific computer that happens to have the unique serial number of my computer)
  1.  What you said to the French authorities was this:

“I will of course give the French authorities the right to submit comments on the new developments in the course of the next days. But I make it very clear my patience is wearing thin: enough is enough.”

This is once again a scary egotistical statement as you unfortunately represent the European Commission and nobody should care if you have a good hair day or if your patience is wearing thin or not. You managed in this statement to put a solid foot into your mouth and transformed what should have been a clear institutional EU procedure into a personal show of power against another egotistical but much more powerful politician. You undermined with your statement the position of your institution. The fact that you worry about him granting you forgiveness should be something that you keep for yourself if you do not want to be ridiculed.

  1. It is not since you appointed yourself as our Savior that we have a Roma Platform in Europe.  It was your predecessor –Commissioner Vladimir Spidla that launched the Platform during the Czech Presidency in early 2009. Regardless that you do not know or that you take credit for something others did it is still worrisome.

10 million people live below the poverty line, that is to say, it has to be changed the housing, health, employment and the most important thing for me is education, because if Roma children do not go to school, the next generation will be in the same difficult situation.

We should not hear what is the most important thing for YOU. Experts should tell you what that is.We need to hear what the European Commission and the DG you lead can do. Education has nothing to do with your portfolio Commissioner. Discrimination and justice does and it is according to the overwhelming majority of experts the anti-Gypsyism the main cause of social exclusion of Roma. Ways to deal with rampant anti-Gypsyism is what we need to hear from the Commissioner in charge. And yes, that is YOU.

Therefore I have been urging each Member – State and, believe me, it is not easy, not easy at all ! Nowhere it is easy! It takes my nerves and a lot of effort to insist and insist and insist, because … no one wants to lose the elections! And so we need to help these people to get out of poverty.

 This should not be about your nerves – should be about your enormously well paid and prestigious job. It is your job to find solutions and not complain about your nerves and how hard talking or reading speeches is. If being a Commissioner is a too much of a hard job please do quit and join us working at the grassroots in Roma communities.

For three years this has been in my portfolio and I will continue to do so, but also Roma must get out of this situation, not only waiting for the government, for the mayor or for the district administration. Roma communities must help themselves get out of this difficult situation!”

 For three years Commissioner you were an embarrassment for your institution when it comes to the Roma portfolio. The stupendous solution you found – “Roma must help themselves get out of this difficult situation” is the worst statement that came up to now from the commission and the greatest excuse you could give national politicians everywhere to do nothing about social inclusion of Roma.

Following your extraordinary logic we can solve all the problems of the EU without you or the Commission– the poor should help themselves out of poverty, the sick should heal themselves, the bankers should regulate themselves…

At the begining of your failed experiment on Roma you went against the majority of experts opinion (experts you couldn’t be bothered to listen in all these years) as you made crystal clear your view that there should not be any EU legal  instruments targeting Roma as you said :

I don’t believe we should waste energy in developing special laws or funds for Roma.

 Three years after; you boast as your main achievement this:

 Today we are moving up yet another gear: the Commission’s proposal for a Council Recommendation is the first EU legal instrument for Roma inclusion.

Amazing !



  1. viviane Reding nous donnne dans ce discours une merveilleuse demonstration de son impuissance et de l inutilité de son job! nous en prenons bonne note et agirons avec la plus forte determination et le courage face à l adversité!

    our best greetings for you valeriu!

  2. Just don’t tell me you are surprised. It was during R. Reagan and M. Thatcher times that the idea that poor people should help themselves (poverty sucks!), this is not out of the blue. The EU commissioner is just old fashion.

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