In his address, Balog said that Roma minority organisations should be a part, but not the sole agents of the integration process. He said the government was planning to expand the Council and build cooperation with local authorities.
The Council was established in 2011, aimed at involving stakeholders in preparing and implementing a Roma integration strategy. The body has over two dozen members, mostly delegated by Roma organisations, but it also includes representatives of the Academy of Sciences, churches, employers, trade unions and civil groups, among others.
Speaking about the Council’s achievements, Balog said that the risk of segregation was reduced for 400,000 people in the past three years, the relevant index going from 31.8 percent to 26.3 percent. He added that compared to 2013, the percentage of Roma with no more than primary education had significantly decreased, while the number of Roma youth in higher education has gone up.
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