The Government has adopted guidelines for the policy on Roma

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Government of Finland has, on December 9, 2010, adopted a “Resolution on guidelines to promote Finland's policy on Roma.”

The Resolution, so say speakers for the government, is a strong message from the Government of Finland that it considers the policy on Roma important and is committed to the implementation of the National Policy on Roma.

The Government will initiate intensified measures to enhance the inclusion of the Roma population at local level and to investigate their housing conditions.

The Government also wants to improve the status of the Romani language and to increase the opportunities of the Roma children and adolescents for social participation and pursuing hobbies. Furthermore, an international strategy will be drawn up to influence policies on Roma.

According to the Resolution the Government Ministries will implement the measures that are assigned to them in the National Policy on Roma within the framework of the appropriations available to them.

The implementation of the measures will be monitored. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will set up a monitoring group for the National Policy on Roma to evaluate the implementation of this cross-sectoral Policy. The first monitoring report will be submitted in 2013.

The Resolution is based on Finland's first National Policy on Roma that was published in December 2009. The objective is to promote the inclusion and equality of the Roma in various spheres of life. The National Policy on Roma comprises a total of 10 policy guidelines and 147 measures, which several administrative sectors are responsible for implementing.

The goal is that Finland will be a forerunner in promoting the equal treatment and inclusion of the Roma in Europe by 2017.

And while this sounds all very good, what really stands out in contrast to this is the recent policy of – basically – rounding up foreign Roma on the streets of Helsinki as unwanted beggars.

Does the inclusion, which we can but hope to just mean integration and not, like in France, more or less forced assimilation, only apply to the Finish Kaale or also to Romani from other countries who wish to make Finland their home, whether on a permanent or only temporary basis? This is a question that must be borne in mind and asked here.

Source: Press release 389/2010

© O NEVO DROM 2011