Speaker says no potential changes to Roma legislation without Roma input
Ljubljana, 20 September - Receiving representatives of the Roma community, parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič raised the possibility of amending the Roma legislation on Tuesday. Any changes relevant to the community would be implemented only in cooperation with the Roma, she noted.
Klakočar Zupančič met Jožek Horvat Muc, the head of the Slovenian Roma Association, and his colleagues to learn more about the challenges the community faces.
The government's Roma programme for 2021-2030 is good, but unfortunately not implemented, said the speaker, calling on all those responsible to take a diligent approach to its implementation, particularly in education. In the south-eastern Dolenjska region, only two Roma children complete primary school per year, she warned.
She highlighted the importance of efforts to integrate Roma children and youths into society, adding this required enough funds and staff.
Horvat Muc thinks it would be best to integrate Roma children into educational institutions at pre-school level. He is sceptical about attempts to educate them in dedicated schools closer to Roma communities, as this did not prove effective in the past.
In the south-east of the country, he would like to see programmes to prevent Roma primary students from leaving school, since some of them do that in grade five or six.
Roma active employment policy is not sufficiently up-to-date, Horvat Muc went on to say, pointing to employment quota programmes that produced good results in the north-eastern region Prekmurje in the 1950s and 1960s.
Klakočar Zupančič would like to see good practices in Prekmurje to spread to the south-east. She believes carrot motivation is stronger than stick motivation in these efforts.