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European Monetary Union - Why Central Europe is bad news - European Union dimension - Part 2
THE IMPACT OF IRRESPONSIBLE CENTRAL EUROPEAN HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING ON ECONOMY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Sources: see footnote
In this second part of this article we continue to report on the ECRE (European Committee on Romani Emapcipation) findings on the impact of deficient and recist ediucation policie directed at the Roma in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. This part measures the implications of this irresponsibility for the European economy.
The European Union promotes policies for training, labour mobility, anti-discrimination and economic development. Currently, the Central European economies have followed policies which do not reflect a serious appreciation of the importance of such policies on the scale required to effectively include their Roma citizens. It is as if the Central European governments consider such matters to be issues of EU conformity to be followed as a basis for qualifying for accession to the European Union as opposed to being valid and significant policies of direct relevance to their specific countries.
The cost of this irresponsibility is already apparent in the poor performances of these economies in so far as most could be operating with GNPs roughly 5%-7.5% higher than is the case. This potential performance shortfall will dramatically increase as the proportion of Roma entering the workforce increases.
Rationalising EU funding
Already, Central European governments are demanding much in their negotiations with the European Union especially in respect to central budget transfers from Brussels to national governments. It is necessary however, to re-assess the degree to which demands made on the EU central budget are created as a result of:
The Central European economies currently run at an annual economic shortfall of around Euro 15 billion directly due to inappropriate policies applied to the Roma. This shortfall increases each year.
- lack of or inappropriate labour policy planning
- failure to implement Roma-related training and employment projects
- proactive delivery of completely deficient education to Roma children under the Special school system
- diversion of essential funds under the Special schools programmes
A European social problem or national human resources issue?
With accession, this failure to perform will become more apparent as transparency improves and no doubt these countries will begin to try and re-constitute the issue as a "social problem" related to the Roma and as something of EU responsibility. This would of course be no more than a side-stepping of national responsibilities for human resources planning and would do much to reduce the prestige of the governments of the Czech republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The evidence is clear that this is not a Roma problem, a social problem or a cultural problem. It is an issue created directly by inappropriate policies of governments with an irresponsible leadership in terms of securing a sound economic future for their people and basing their motivations on principles in support of actions which accept the importance of our common humanity.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION
Criminal intent & professional incompetence
The ministries of education and local authority departments of education already manage projects funded by the Commission of the European Union. Within the terms of the law of Europe or any member state of the Union, professionals involved in something like the Special schools would be considered to have acted with criminal intent because they permit funding, within the educational system, and officially destined for a specific target group (Special children), but be subsequently diverted into illicit activities without making comment nor reporting this to those who might take action to stop this abuse.
The same officials would also be clearly classified as being professionally incompetent because they, as "educators", consider it to be appropriate to use young Roma children as base commodities in exchange for raising funds of the order of Euro millions each year. This they do knowingly, not on the basis of educational criteria or advancing the status of education of the children concerned, but rather at the whim of the predilections of their managers or at the request of local politicians.
Debasement of the educational profession
More perversely, here we have educators knowingly removing from children the educational provisions essential to guarantee a productive future.
No place in education
In Europe such people would have long ago have lost their jobs for professional incompetence and/or have served prison sentences.
Under the advice of Central European governments, the Commission of the European Union has, since 1994, allocated a tiny sum of Euro 66 million (mainly under Phare) to Roma projects. During this same period Central European governmental transfers of Special funds exceeded Euro 1.3 billion in direct proportion to the number of, largely, Roma children allocated to Special schools. In this process, governments have cynically thrown the productive futures of these children away by banishing them to the dead end Special school system. As a result, the European Commission has been pouring grossly insufficient funds into a massive cash flow hole created intentionally by dishonest politicians and covered up by fraudulent accounting and reporting within the governments, ministries of education and local authorities.
It has to be asked why the European Commission is providing such funding to Central European governments when it is known that around Euro 375 million are being diverted away from educational ends and, in particular, the Roma, each year. It is clearly totally irresponsible of the European Commission to be allocating European public funds to fill in financial gaps created willingly, and out of sight, by the very ministries and local authorities the Commission has agreed to assist. There can be no justification for the European Commission providing such money under the prevailing circumstances.
In global terms, as a result of this irresponsible policy, motivated primarily by financial greed and racial prejudice, Central Europe has an annual performance deficit (GNP foregone) of in excess of Euro 15 billion. The European Union has provided some Euro 66 million to assist Roma and some Euro 10 billion for other programmes, in Central Europe, during the last decade. Central European governments have knowingly maintained a system which has reduced the earning capacity of the Roma and this has depressed gross national products by at least Euro 150 billion over the same period. In other words, the European Union has provided some Euro 10 billion in European public funds to assist countries whose governments have thrown away some Euro 150 billion over comparable periods of time.
QUESTIONS FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION
The European Union has to review the ability of such governments to manage any European public funds where the record of the management of their own national funds is so abysmal.
The European Union has to review the prudence of basing programmes on the word and negotiating stances of governments who have been guilty of fraud in their pronouncements that they do not know accurately the number of Roma in Special schools when in fact they hold accurate data on these numbers. The European Union has to review in all seriousness if the cost of such countries conforming to the performance requirements for participation in the European Monetary System can be so justifiably high in terms of human rights abuse, lack of transparency and irresponsible economic management.
The European Union has to seriously consider whether or not such governments should be permitted to continue to manage their economic and financial affairs in a way which represents a direct and flagrant contravention of Article 13 of the Treaty of Rome. The European Union needs to review specifically how the European Commission, with programmes and presence in Central Europe for over a decade, has managed to produce Country Progress Reports on the progress of countries in meeting accession criteria which approve the performance and, by implication, the behaviour of such governments.
These Central European countries plainly have more than sufficient funds from national sources, and in particular the central Special school funds, to secure a sound future for Roma children. Accordingly, the European Union needs press the governments of the Czech republic, Hungary and Slovakia to accelerate their conformity to EU educational norms with respect to human rights and compliances with Article 13 by:
In the light of progress on the requirements set out above, the European Union should then review the then current status of these countries in respect to their planned accession by 2004.
- closing the Special schools forthwith
- requesting that the current generous national Special school budgets be spent on Roma children education
- introduction of adequate monitoring and reporting on use of Special school funds
- introducing, forthwith, an adequate curriculum for Roma children comparable to normal schools
- accelerating de facto school integration
Urgent need for human resources planning
The resolution to this issue of Roma schooling is only part of the problem. So far we have not reviewed the issue of the circumstances of the adult Roma population. There is an urgent need for a review of the scale and the means of addressing the needs of the current post-school age Roma population (within the 16 to 65 age group). There is a need to review needs and identify means of attracting investment for sustainable employment creation for the Roma which promote greater self-determination and inclusion as members of Central European society within the European Union.
Both of these areas, training and investment, represent fundamentally important aspects of human resources planning for Central Europe and will be the subject of a separate report.
Document: ECRE(2003) 002; Updated 18th March 2003 A Report on an Investigation by EUROPEAN COMMITTEE ON ROMANI EMANCIPATION ECRE, European Economic Interest Grouping, THE IMPACT OF SPECIAL SCHOOLS ON THE ROMA IN CENTRAL EUROPE, A case of wilful criminal neglect & professional incompetence, Brussels, 26 February 2003