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Roma Politics and Policy in Hungary 1999-2003

Roma Politics and Policy in Hungary 1999-2003 I. INTRODUCTION One of the most remarkable features of post-communist Hungary has been the emer- gence of 'Roma' as a significant political phenomenon. The Roma issue is characterized by an apparent paradox. On the one hand, there has been rapid growth in public political activity amongst Roma people' and in the construction of specific government policy designed to address their needs. On the other hand, most Roma people have experienced deepening impoverishment and social exclusion. In other words, despite unprecedented growth in the political promotion of Roma people's interests (through political activity and in government), this has conspicuously failed to translate into improvement in the living conditions and life chances of most of those people who were meant to be assisted. Since the turn of the millennium, the Roma issue appears to have been moving into a new phase. During the 2002 general elections, the two largest mainstream political par- ties both included high-profile Roma activists on their electoral lists, leading to four being elected to the new parliament. The Roma policy of the new socialist-liberal coalitions 2 has placed particular emphasis on social inclusion, and the election of the third National Gypsy (Minority) Self-Government saw a wholesale http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

Roma Politics and Policy in Hungary 1999-2003

European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online , Volume 2 (1): 21 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2211-6117
DOI
10.1163/221161103X00058
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION One of the most remarkable features of post-communist Hungary has been the emer- gence of 'Roma' as a significant political phenomenon. The Roma issue is characterized by an apparent paradox. On the one hand, there has been rapid growth in public political activity amongst Roma people' and in the construction of specific government policy designed to address their needs. On the other hand, most Roma people have experienced deepening impoverishment and social exclusion. In other words, despite unprecedented growth in the political promotion of Roma people's interests (through political activity and in government), this has conspicuously failed to translate into improvement in the living conditions and life chances of most of those people who were meant to be assisted. Since the turn of the millennium, the Roma issue appears to have been moving into a new phase. During the 2002 general elections, the two largest mainstream political par- ties both included high-profile Roma activists on their electoral lists, leading to four being elected to the new parliament. The Roma policy of the new socialist-liberal coalitions 2 has placed particular emphasis on social inclusion, and the election of the third National Gypsy (Minority) Self-Government saw a wholesale

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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