Author: Michal Vašečka
Date of publication: 2002
Published by: Institute for Public Affairs
This book is the result of the concentrated efforts of dozens of experts in minority issues in Slovakia. It is published at a time when the European Commission, after successfully wrapping up the integration process, is asking Slovakia to increase its efforts to find positive solutions for the problems of the Roma, as well as for the corruption that exists in all walks of life. This pressure from the international community to solve the Roma issue is easy to understand. It is not just that in failing to solve the important questions related to the Roma, Slovakia will cast doubt on the positive steps it has taken towards liberal democracy and a mature economy; nor does the issue merely involve a utilitarian attempt by the European Union to force a demanding solution from a future member state. The most important motive remains the fact that problems related to the ethnicization of poverty, social exclusion, and the marginalization of minorities are very familiar in most post industrial countries. Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century, there was a clear need for a publication that would summarize what is known about the Roma in an academically precise form. Many Roma issue experts noted that various reports seeking to provide comprehensive coverage of the issue had already been published; however, as this issue is exceptionally broad, most of these reports, which did not aim to create a complex analysis, were inadequate.