Archive | April, 2013

Roma Social Inclusion Measures the European Commission Can and Should Take

29 Apr

An Open Letter to the European Commission

I have been accused in the past of always complaining about what the Commission does and never offering “constructive” solutions myself. Factually this is false.I am a strong pro-European. I also reject sugar-coating and I think critical thinking is what can get us out of the mess we are in at this moment.

Those of you who truly care about Roma integration know that many of the EC’s policies and procedures are counterproductive and that many in senior management are inept and/or racist when it comes to the Roma.   You know that the Commission and the Member States waste EU public money and that most of the measures taken are simply window dressing.  You know that funding as it is now designed does not produce results (the numbers are irrefutable) and that it cannot produce results. Trying to do the best with a paint-brush when you need shovels, excavators, and trucks is an apt metaphor I heard from one of you.

You know that the overwhelming majority of the things I wrote are true (they are based on hands-on experience, official papers or “anonymous” leaks from within the European Commission). Focusing on my inherent mistakes or picking and choosing what you want from my texts is, intellectually, dishonest.

Nonetheless, you will probably be happy to know that this is my last article criticizing the EC. I am taking a break from Roma issues, but first, I will leave you with what I think are five rather easy and perfectly doable steps to begin the long expensive process of turning around the mess we are in today, before it becomes an even bigger, more divisive, and expensive mess tomorrow.

Roma Social Inclusion Measures the European Commission Can and Should Take:

  1. 1. Stimulate work in the most difficult Roma communities, especially in urban ghettoes (As you know, the Roma birthrate is significantly higher than the European birth rate – and the number of Roma living in ghettoes in Eastern Europe and in make-shift ghettoes all over Europe is on the rise).

Why – Due to flawed design of EU funds targeting Roma social inclusion and poor design of funding mechanisms in general, we created an industry for producing fancy but empty words, copy-paste reports, endless conferences and fake reporting. We stimulated the desire of Roma activists to think of themselves as “dignitaries” and have ended up with highly dysfunctional Roma political and civic elites (many of whom, as you know, are incompetent, corrupt, and/or criminal).

Ghettoes are exploding. Shockingly low education levels fuel delinquency in the form of drugs, prostitution, theft, loan sharking, trafficking, and vote-rigging.  When combined with close links to politicians, these ghettoes are a seedbed of crime for the entire European Union. It is a lot easier and more efficient to convince Member States that they need to invest in improving living conditions and educational access in the ghettoes than to start enormously expensive legal procedures of infringement that will lead nowhere. Early education especially in rural Roma communities remain mainly empty words in pompous speeches –the end-result more and more uneducated Roma join ghettoes all around Europe. 


  • a. With existing resources launch enough competitions for medium term (3 to 5 years) institutional support for NGOs that can demonstrate results (not contract or report imaginary work) in Roma communities and ghettoes. This can be done by different DGs and EACEA. (I wrote in the past a full brief about why and how it can be done –here just some highlights)

Such calls will stimulate real grassroots work and act as an incentive for EU member states to pay more attention and be more involved in addressing the issues in the most problematic Roma communities and ghettoes.

  • b. Make clear to the governments (including in high level meetings) that grassroots work – and not conferences or trainings or reports – is where the EU funds should be spent. (NB: The Secretary General of the Council of Europe already made that step- so you are safe to say the same).  Make sure these issues are taken into account in negotiations with member states about their priorities for the next financial period.

These things are simple and easy to do within the constraints of the European Commission, and will lead to increased efficiency of EU funds targeted to address Roma exclusion as well as to improvements in the functioning of Roma civil society.

  1. 2. Replace existing bureaucracy in charge of Roma issues with one that has both power and expertise in Roma issues. Require a yearly working plan, indicators for measuring performance, independent evaluations and full transparency to ensure efficiency of such bureaucracy.

Why – Although there are some good things that have been made possible through EU funding, they are exceptions.   Anyone who asserts that the European Commission and EU Funds have significantly improved the lives of Roma citizens is either delusional or dishonest.  Today the European Commission shows all the signs of structural racism when it comes to the Roma and scant courage to seriously address Roma exclusion and anti-Gypsyism.  I dealt with these issues extensively in my previous articles – I will not substantiate more here.

How – There are people already working in the Commission who could form the core of the more efficient bureaucracy we all desire. Temporary contracts with experts (meaning people with hands on field experience, not expertise in writing reports) as well as secondments from member states could attract the right talent. This is an easy way to build inside expertise and legitimacy for the EC. Most Member States will follow the recommendations of a more meritocratic bureaucracy, which will also garner stronger support from the civil society. A basic standard on working on Roma issues should be adopted regulating employment and consultation with Roma. The independent evaluation of the EC mechanisms and bureaucracy working on Roma should be supervised by the European Parliament.

  1. 3.    Address the waste of public money

Why – the European Commission and especially Member States are perceived to be wasting huge amounts of money when it comes to Roma social inclusion –we all know glaring examples of such waste.

How – stop contracting and sub-contracting other expensive bureaucracies just to get rid of large sums of money and spend your budgets. As long as the World Bank, UNDP, Council of Europe, OSCE, etc., do not invest in Roma issues and have no Roma expertise within, giving them money wastes public funds – with no direct benefit for Roma. These funds can be much better used to create your own institutional expertise.  Curtail the largely ceremonial conferences on Roma social inclusion and the report production. Focus on institutional support of NGOs that work at the grassroots level and reform the ESF mechanisms and priorities to fit the realities on the ground.

  1. 4. Create an independent EU Agency for Social Inclusion and Innovation. (NB: to avoid the veto of France, do not name it the EU Roma Social Inclusion Agency). Use the agency as a critical think tank for dealing with the National Roma Framework Strategies and to help offset the lack of creativity and expertise within your own institution.

Why and how is not needed here. Just review the documentation that led to the creation of the FRA and avoid making the same mistakes that made the FRA irrelevant on Roma issues.  Base this agency in Romania – the country with the largest Roma population—to signal your commitment to seriously addressing Roma social inclusion at its roots.

  1. 5. Replace Commissioner Reding with someone with genuine commitment to Roma inclusion as well as the knowledge and political skill to start turning around the EC’s dismal track record to date. Avoid similar disastrous appointments in the future by introducing basic requirements for the Roma focused jobs- meaning hands-on experience and proven results.

The why is self-evident considering the mess we are in now. How – you can start by creating a High-level taskforce for the Social Inclusion of Roma in Europe – a recommendation liked and promoted by the ex-Commissioner responsible for Roma issues – Vladimir Spidla. I explained this structure to some of the senior management in charge. Such structure should also come up with a basic standard of work on Roma issues that should be respected by the intergovernmental and governmental bureaucracies.


For a senior bureaucrat …

24 Apr

Job title: Senior manager for a European-based intergovernmental organisatios

Required experience

Minimum five years experience in a middle management position for a similar organisation. A master’s degree in political science or a similarly relevant topic. Ten or more years experience in using words and acronyms[1] that are meaningless for most people. Long term experience with office politics.

Significant hands-on experience in opening e-mails, reading reports, attending conferences on any given topic and demonstrating expertise on that topic.

At least five years experience in multitasking, in particular, appearing to pay attention during conferences/meetings while updating your Facebook account, chatting with friends, and answering personal e-mails.


Superhero abilities in ass-kissing, self-delusion and doublethink (the power to hold two contradictory ideas true at the same time, and use one or the other in order to maximise the first two superpowers mentioned above, and to ensure the final goal of a fast and smooth advancement to a higher position).

Exceptional abilities in attending meetings, calling for meetings, discussing about meetings, designing meeting mechanisms, and spending significant budgets for meetings.

Ability to suspend critical thinking whenever your superiors talk. Skills in faking blindness and impaired hearing whenever required, in order to attain the final goal – promotion to a higher position.

Skills in turning action into non-action, avoiding responsibilities, or passing them to other institutions or persons non-affiliated with your own institution (i.e. ability to delegate).

Ability to talk nonsense in a meaningful and persuasive manner.

Ability to work under the pressure of huge budgets which must be spent on useless projects and conferences in order to please your superiors, and present these events as effective and major contributions to improve/eradicate whatever needs to be improved/eradicated.

Skills to interpret superiors’ bullshit as metaphysical metaphors meant to contribute to the new era of enlightenment promoted by your organisation

Ability to tune out conversations that do not contribute to your main goal, as well as to sleep in your chair while pretending to be listening, are essential. Capability to train your superiors to do these things more efficiently or credibly is considered a bonus.

Ability to enjoy, provide and encourage arrogance, logical fallacy, paternalism, sexism, racism, as well as stupidity and plain idiocy, in order to achieve the higher goal (promotion) is fundamental for the job.


 The successful applicant must be fully dedicated to his or her career, and ready to sacrifice bringing about any real change, as well as his/her sense of ethics, for the higher goal (promotion).

The applicant must believe in the God-like role of the organisation’s bureaucracy: the organisation distributes the only true rules of morals and ethics; senior management is obviously absolved of these rules; senior management makes no mistakes and is to be continuously revered and praised.

The job requires humbleness and the ability to put up with extreme conditions. The successful applicant may be forced to adapt to occasional habitation in 4 star hotels (the standard is 5 star hotels) as well as to occasional short excursions in poverty stricken areas.

The successful applicant must be able to adapt to dangerous situations such as economy class air travel, and local travel by taxi (in case the limousine doesn’t show up).

*In case the successful applicant still has a spine, he or she must be prepared to undergo urgent surgical removal.


I think the job advertisement above applies well to many positions at the European Commission, Council of Europe, UN, OSCE, World Bank, but also to many major international non-governmental organisations, and to many Roma NGOs. It applies to the Romanian society at large and particularly to the Romanian bureaucracies. There are certainly exceptions.

A few necessary explanations

The anonymous avatar who posts furiously on forums, blogs or Facebook, and promotes anonymous leaks, confidential letters or confidential support (“I agree, but please do not mention my name”) is not displaying courage or promoting reform.

Hands-on experience does not mean that you used your own hands to open an e-mail or to hold a report about abject poverty, discrimination, trafficking, criminality, drug abuse and any other similar topic.

Traveling to places, including ghettoes, doesn’t make you an expert in anything besides traveling.

An overall focus on positive practices does not mean you are an optimist; more likely it is a lame excuse to avoid talking about the massive waste of money and miserable results of your organisation.

The fact that you believe you can not change anything or that you can do much more when you reach a leadership position or leave the institution is just a delusion. It is also a clear signal that you gave up your spine, and should feel comfortable and intimate with the word ‘coward’.

I do not think that more bureaucracy will help Roma issues. Better bureaucracy might.

[1] See flexicurity, ToR, EU2020, mainstreaming, multistakeholder approach, etc.

despre impuscat tigani si cai albi pe pereti

18 Apr

Aseara am primit un email scurt. Trist rau.

asa.deci nepotul meu si fratele meu ar impusca tigani


M-am intrebat daca ar fi cineva care sa fi acumulat atata ura incat sa-mi impuste pustiul- tigan si el. L-ai impusca ? Si daca tu nu, dar totusi fratele sau tatal sau prietenul ar fi gata sa o faca tu ce ai face pe langa faptul ca ai incerca sa schimbi discutia jenat(a) ?

M-am decis cu ocazia asta sa impartasesc si povestea cu cai albi pe pereti.

Cai albi pe pereti

O femeie frumoasa – Ioana- imbracata intr-un costum elegant Armani – albastru inchis pantofi cu toc , ochelari de soare – geanta asortata coboara dintr-o masina eleganta – un tip brunet imbracat in pantaloni scurti cu niste adidasi destul de vechi si un maieu decolorat rosu  ii deschide usa. E nebarbierit, cheleste, ochelari de soare cu rama rosie de plastic, in jur de 25 -30 de ani.  Arata a tigan.

Tiganul se duce, deschide portiera si scoate un geamantan mare. Il pune jos si incepe sa il traga dupa el in spatele ei. O casa eleganta in mijlocul Bucurestiului.

Suna la usa.

Un tip blond cu ochii albastri iese si o imbratiseaza. In jur de 24-25 de ani.

–       Ce faci, sora ?

Zambeste larg fericit

–       Bine . Tu ce faci, Dan ?

Pupaturi . Si ea zambeste.

Tiganul intra dupa ei chinuindu-se cu bagajul. Casa este mare, veche, foarte eleganta. Tiganul se uita imprejur si fluiera a paguba. Fratele se uita un pic ciudat la el. Ioana se duce la baie.

Tiganul zice:

–       Hai ca eu plec, va las.

Se intoarce si merge spre usa. Dan se duce dupa el. Scoate o hartie de 5 lei si i-o da tiganului. Tiganul  zambeste ironic , ia banii se sterge cu ei pe obraji si zice:

–       Sa traiesti boieru’ mancati-as pulica mi-ai facut safteaua pe ziua de azi ! Zi si tu la revedere Zanei !

Dan se uita un pic nervos si un pic mirat la tigan. Tiganul iese.

Dan cu voce tare

–       Futu-va in gura de tigani tupeisti !

Tiganul aude asta coborand scarile. Zambeste stramb, un pic trist.

O bucatarie . Dan si Ioana la masa.


–       Cum se zice la asta in germana ca tot uit ?

–       Fhrustuck

–       Ce faci sora, in Bucuresti ? Ce iti mai face neamtu’?

Ioana zambeste un pic stramb.

–       Probleme cu nemtoiu?

–       Ihi

–       Ce problema, sora ?

–       Eeee – problema de adulti, Dan.

–       Sora, te-ai despartit de ala – bravo, da-i dracu’ de nazisti!

–       Da, Dan

–       Definitiv!

–       Cred ca da, Dan .

–       Si ai alta alternativa ?

Ioana zambeste larg :

–       Deci ai alte alternative!  Dan zambeste si el.

–       Da Dan

–       Macaronar ?

–       Nu, Dan

–       Dar ce – hai ca acum am vazut Germania cu bogatanul ala as vrea macar un american, ca tot te plimbi tu cu slujba prin State.

–       Nu, Dan

–       Francez, olandez ?

–       Nu, Dan

–       Sa nu zici fata ca e arab – de asta te duci tu in ultima vreme prin tari de alea uitate de lume ?

–       Azerbaidjanul nu e tara araba dar nu, Dan, nu e arab.

–       Dar de unde e, sora ?

–       Tu de unde crezi ca e Dan daca sunt in Bucuresti cu ditamai bagajul?

–       Hai ma sora sa nu imi zici ca e roman !

Ioana zambeste

–       E din Romania, Dan

–       Sora, sa nu zici ca e moldovean! Moare tati daca aude!

–       Nu e, Dan.

–       Oltean ?

–       Nu, Dan

–       Aaaa, e bine atunci – e ardelean d’al nostru

–       Nu, Dan, e tigan – zambeste larg

Dan rade tare

–       Hahahaha – buna asta – sefa de multinationala cu tigan – tare, sora. Deci nu vrei sa imi zici. Si ce o sa faci, te muti aici in Bucuresti ?

–       Da, Dan

–       Super sora, o sa fie fain tare.

Discutia continua inca vreo zece minute. Cei doi povestesc si rad. Sunt foarte bine impreuna. Suna telefonul ei . Ioana raspunde.

–       Ce faci, Zanule ?

Dan zambeste larg si apoi – brusc – se albeste la fata. Voce stridenta :

–       Sora, tu umblii cu tiganul ala care ti-a carat bagajul  !

–       Zanule, te sun inapoi.

Fata ei se intuneca un pic. Devine foarte serioasa.

–       Da, Dan – ai vreo problema cu asta ?

–       Cu tiganul ala borat ! Ce o sa ii spui lui tati si mami ?

–       Ce fel de tigan crezi tu Dan, ca e ?

Dan tipa deja

–       Nu stiu ! Ce dracului conteaza – tigani borati !

–       E iubitul meu, Dan.

–       Tiganul ala ? Fata, tu ai inebunit – nu imi vine sa cred, tu chiar umbli cu tigan !  Asta e o gluma.  Nu se poate. Iti bati joc de mine. Hai mai sora, cum dracului – directoare de internationala si umbli cu tigan.

Voce ei devine dura.

–       Dan. opreste-te. Am nevoie de tine sa imi fii de ajutor. Asta e un tip bun, e foarte bun pentru mine. E o chestie serioasa. M-am mutat pentru el in Bucuresti. O sa imi sara multa lume in cap. O sa trebuiasca sa le spun alor nostri.

Ne-am imaginat de cateva ori cum ar fi fost sa ne ducem  la parintii ei in Ardeal, imbracat eu in costum alb cu palarie alba, ciocate albe, pe cal alb si cu Azur cantand pe langa noi Cenusareasa;  ea in unul din costumele ei elegante.

Intalnirea dintre cele doua mame – care in fapt au foarte multe in comun –  si reactia lor. Rudele ei, care ar fi trebuit sa inventeze ca as fi portughez vorbitor de romana ca sa nu se faca de rahat in sat.

Ne-am spart de ras. Dan s-a obisnuit si a recunoscut – ce-i drept, cu greu-  in cateva luni ca prietenul lui cel mai bun e tigan.

Parintii nu au aflat niciodata.

Kobe vs Jordan

15 Apr

If you don’t like basketball this is not a posting you want to read…

Hated Kobe.

I grew up with Jordan. Went to Chicago despite a much better job in Florida just to have the opportunity to see him play.

I used to go much earlier than the start of the games just to see him and Pippen warm-up. “Unbelievable” simply doesn’t do justice to describe seeing the skills , grace and athleticism of the two of them.

In 2000 I saw Vince Carter and T-Mac in Toronto. Memorable but nothing Jordan like. Iverson was better than both- his drive to win was close to Jordan’s. He had no chance to “be like Mike”.

And then I saw Kobe. Smug, fast, egotistical, rude – smarter, more elegant and more focused than Iverson. A threat to Jordan’s legacy.

His skills and his drive were out of charts but I hated him for competing against Jordan. For being better that Pippen. For beating Pippen. For scoring 81 points something Jordan never did. He could but he didn’t.

I saw Kobe’s last game with Golden States. Curry’s son first quarter was magical- 20 points. Kobe scored two .  He exploded in the second quarter. He got mad at Meta World Peace, scored some crazy baskets and put LA back in the game. He hurt his knee and then his ankle. He wanted to win and his body was getting a serious beating. And then very close to the end after he put LA in lead he tore his Achille’s tendon.

And as he walked out –a limping 35 years old unable to accept neither age or defeat I surprised myself feeling awfully sad. The Jordan I hated was walking out.  The Jordan than I never wanted to see – the smug, egotistical, rude but out of this world when it came to basketball Jordan. He is what I hated in Kobe.And suddenly I saw the most amazing player of the last 13 years walking out hurt.

And I felt more than sad – I felt also stupid.

Despre porci, curcani, politica si anti-fragilitate

12 Apr

Citesc N.N Taleb – Anti-Fragilitate. Taleb explica in stilul sau caracteristic de ce ar trebui sa evitam sa fim curcani. Curcanii (cel putin la americani) sunt bine ingrijiti, primesc tot ce au nevoie si se ingrasa in mod constant.

Starea lor de confort si bunastare creste predictibil de pe o zi pe alta. O evolutie constanta, aproximativ liniara, spre mai bine. Cei care ii hranesc sunt prietenosi cu ei si de incredere. Asta pana cand ii taie.

M-am tot gandit ca la noi, in Romanica, curcanii astia sunt rari – noi suntem mult mai focusati pe porci. Societatea noastra are “problema porcului”/inclinatie pentru porci. Suntem mai mult porci decat curcani.

Desi credem ca traim prost, totusi nivelul nostru de trai comparativ cu media pe glob este mult, mult mai bun. Avem berica, gratarelul si ne permitem macar “neste” KFC, Mc Donalds, cartofii prajiti sau cate o saorma cu de toate. Canalele de televiziune, politicienii si vedetele noastre ne ofera rahatul, mizeria sau noroiul necesare pentru a ne racori si a ne simti un pic mai bine dupa ce i-am injurat pe unul sau pe altul.

Votam politicieni corupti si guitam tare ca sunt corupti, apoi ne lafaim cu ceva de baut sau de molfait uitandu-ne la Antena 3 (ca OTV-ul nu mai e) si citim pozele din tabloide.

O buna parte dintre noi spera deschis, iar altii in mod secret, ca poate la un moment o sa castige si ei ceva, la fel cum o fac porcii politici sau porcii afaceristi din tranzactiile cu statul. Daca nu noi, macar rudele sau prietenii nostri sa fie loviti de noroc si sa faca o smechereala care sa ne aduca si noua “succesuri”.

Avem insa si curcani. Curcanii asculta Radio Guerrilla, citesc filozofie, Dilema Veche, Kamikaze sau Catavencii, mananca sanatos sau macar organic, se duc la sala, se imbraca cu bun gust si se vaicaresc elegant.

Atat porcii, cat si curcanii dintre noi asteptam ca statul sa ne dea si nu facem mai nimic ca sa schimbam statul. Continuam sa dam mita pentru a ne rezolva problemele mai repede si sa ne bagam in fata la cozi daca avem ocazia sau tupeu. Pupam in dos autoritatea daca o intalnim, desi o injuram pe la spate de toti mortii sau macar o dispretuim cu spume.

Problema e aceeasi si la curcani si la porci. Ne obisnuim cu situatia pana cand ne vine randul la taiere. Porcul sau curcanul politic e mai abil, cateodata un pic mai sofisticat, dar si el are aceeasi problema. Va fi in cele din urma injunghiat, daca nu chiar sacrificat. Nastase este cel mai bun exemplu.

Taleb crede ca trebuie sa ne ferim de confort daca vrem sa avem succes. Cu cat mai multe socuri cu atat mai bine.

Eu urasc ideea sacrificiului. Mi se pare stupida si demotivanta denumirea de generatie de sacrificiu. Nu am chef sa fiu generatie de sacrificiu, eu vreau sa fiu in generatia de ne-porc si ne-curcan.

Pentru asta sunt necesare cateva lucruri.

1. Eu insumi sa fac ceva substantial ca sa schimb societatea asta.La fel de substantial pe cat as vrea sa faca cineva pe care mi-as dori sa il aleg sa ma reprezinte.

2. Sa sprijin oamenii care fac ceva bun. Nu pe facebook sau second life, ci in realitate.

3. Sa eliminam ambiguitatile din politica. Sa cerem de la cei pe care ii votam sa ne arate ce au facut in mod concret inainte de a ne spune ce or sa faca. Sa ii ajutam pe cei care ne plac fiind critici cu ei.

4. Sa incercam sa sprijinim sau sa ajutam la crearea unei prese independente si necoruptibile. Stiu ca suna aberant pentru multi, dar asta e din cauza dependentei create de statutul de porc sau curcan.

5. Sa ne gandim impreuna si sa mai adaugam niste lucruri care sa faca posibila promovarea meritocratiei de catre sistemul de invatamant si cel administrativ si sa ne punem pe treaba.

Pe langa ca sunt porc cu ambitii de curcan mai sunt si cioara. De primele doua sper sa ma vindec urmand tratamentul de mai sus, de ultima nu am cum – e de la mama.

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April 8 – No reason to celebrate – do something instead

8 Apr

No reason to celebrate

The European Commission’s (EC) measures to address Roma exclusion are failing. Most of the European public money targeting Roma social inclusion is wasted on irrelevant meetings and unsustainable projects. Member States continue to treat Roma, at best, as a burden on the welfare system, and at worst, as genetically deficient sub-humans programmeed to become criminals.

The level of structural racism within the EC is appalling. The manner in which the EC and Member States deal with Roma inclusion is both irresponsible and arrogant. Most of the main intergovernmental (IGOs) and international non-governmental (INGOs) organisations that are vocal on Roma issues are not doing much better.

Speeches on Roma inclusion come across as hypocritical, considering that Roma continue to be overwhelmingly absent from decision-making positions. It seems that incentives to stimulate responsibility and active citizenship of Roma are just figures of speech.

Roma civil society is a mess: its main characteristics appear to be dependency on European Structural Funds, incompetency, ethnic radicalism, lip-service, cowardice, corruption, nepotism, and dreams of power and dignitary honours.

Roma ghettoes on the outskirts of major Western European cities are multiplying, while grassroots work in the Roma communities remains unusual, increasingly difficult and discouraged by inept funding design.

Dependency on receiving funding from IGOs and maintaining connections keep the most important organisations working on Roma social inclusion silent, diplomatic, or at best, ambiguous about what is really needed.

What are the essential needs? Here is a short list:

1. A basic standard, to which the EC and IGOs working on Roma issues must adhere. This standard must be public and should address the existing lack of expertise, coherence, institutional strategy, structural racism and lack of accountability of those institutions.

2. A yearly working plan for the EC and IGOs, with clear indicators, making possible the evaluation and monitoring of their activities (similar to what these organisations require from civil society).

3. Functional mechanisms to replace the dysfunctional existing informal mechanisms such as the Roma Unit, the EU Roma Platform, and MGs-Rom. We also need an urgent plan to reform European funding targeting Roma social inclusion, in order to halt the rapid dissolution of Roma civil society.

4. An independent evaluation of EC and IGO activities on Roma issues, including  evaluation of the Commissioner in charge of Roma issues, Vice-President Reding, and the Roma Unit. INGOs and Roma NGOs should also be subject to independent evaluations.

We are failing. Acknowledgment is not enough. Many people in decision-making positions should quit, or be fired. Pompous, empty words of self-congratulation on International Roma Day do not help. Independent evaluations do.

There is no reason to celebrate – it should be a good time to request change. And what we need is simple for now – just gather signatures supporting reform.

If you support this please do send me your name and position at . If we are enough the Commission will have to reply.

Zile schizoide

5 Apr

Blog-ul meu a fost cel mai vizualizat blog in Romania intre 25-31 martie.Norocul tiganului banuiesc ca prost sper ca nu sunt. Ar trebui sa ma las; putin probabil sa mai am norocul asta. Am fost invitat la Radio-Guerrilla – o experienta interesanta si placuta. Dobro e un tip haios tare, foarte rapid in reactii si dominant rau.Am fost trainer pentru o echipa de bancheri – o alta experienta super.Azi am fost pe CNN.

M-am intalnit cu primarul din Roterdam si i-am povestit de ghetou.Am decis ca ar trebui sa vand bilete ca toata lumea ne umple de glorie – super tare ce facem super initiativa si cam asta ramane caci banii publici tot pe intalniri cretinoide la Hilton sau Intercontinental se duc.M-a publicat European Voice din nou

Am fost si in fiecare a doua zi prin ghetou.Am ascultat povestea lui Laur un tip care se drogheaza de la 12 ani in ghetou ( acum are 17 si arata de 30).Am facut 2 antrenamente de fotbal cu pustii din ghetou si am incercat sa gasesc de lucru ceva in constructii unuia din putinii parinti responsabili pe care ii stiu. Daca cineva are ceva de lucru in constructii ar fi super. Week-end de maine cu Totonel, Alberto si probabil Mitica la mine acasa.

Despre Basescu, tigani si boxeri

3 Apr

M-am intalnit cu Traian Basescu de trei ori. In una dintre intalniri ne-a explicat celor de fata ca:“tiganii se recunosc usor – au palmele galbene cum le are Nastase”.

M-am gandit ca e tare de tot sa ne spuna asta si ca am avea nevoie de ceva mai multi specialisti ca domnu’ presedinte, mai ales ca la recensamant intotdeauna da’ mai putini tigani la numaratoare. Apoi m-am gandit daca safu’ a verificat-o si pe doamna Udrea sau pe Baconschi – brunetel, avea palmele cam galbioare si era chiar langa el. Poate il angajase ca o masura de discriminare pozitiva, considerand gafele pe care acesta avea sa le faca mai tarziu. Am ezitat sa intreb; cateodata ma loveste politetea in momentul cel mai nepotrivit.

L-am judecat dur pe presedintele Romaniei in momentul in care a iesit in presa povestea cu “tiganca imputita”. Sute de opozanti ai lui Basescu si activisti pe drepturile omului, inclusiv eu, am “urlat” pe email si pe retelele de socializare ca ar trebui sa venim in fata Cotroceniului sa facem scandal. M-am dus. Ploua un pic. A fost mai multa presa in cautare de scandal decat activisti. Am fost in total 8. Se pare ca prejudecata ca “decat” noua ne-ar fi teama de apa e aplicabila si unei bune parti a activistilor de calculator.

M-am gandit venind acasa – pentru prima data – ca poate il judec prea dur pe Traian Basescu. Ca poate ma grabesc in a pune etichete de rasisti unor politicieni care intradevar au idei preconcepute, spun sau scriu tampenii evidente. Si ca in schimb sunt mult prea dragut cu coruptia si ipocrizia din sanul unei bune parti a societatii civile.

Mi-am amintit de nemtoaicele care zambeau cu gura pana la urechi uitandu-se la mine jucand baschet. Am fost convins ca le placeam – jucam baschet bine, eram singurul care nu parea lovit de hepatita de pe teren (desigur, cu exceptia palmelor) si credeam ca sunt si foarte desteptut si cumva ca asta era evident.

Faptul ca purtam cei mai frumosi chiloti – boxeri pe care ii aveam (luati din targul de haine vechi din Craiova) ca pantaloni scurti, asa cum o facusem pentru cativa ani in Craiova impreuna cu alti jucatori “cool”, nu mi-a trecut prin cap decat cativa ani mai tarziu, cand am priceput la ce folosesc boxerii…

Am fost un cretin de mult prea multe ori ca sa nu imi dau seama, in cele din urma , ca  aplic standarde duble. Ca ar trebui sa fiu la fel de deschis la idea ca cei din jurul meu ar putea sa invete si sa incerce sa fie mai buni, pe cat sunt de dragut si iertator cu propriile idiotenii sau cele ale amicilor mei.

Prima mea calatorie cu avionul a fost traumatizanta. Undeva la inceputul anilor ‘90. Mama mi-a pregatit cozonaci, niste sandwich-uri cu carne de porc, carne cu grasime la borcan, niste jumari si doua paini, toate in niste pungi misto de plastic cu tipe sexy. Drumul pana la Bucuresti a fostnormal. In Bucuresti au inceput sa apara problemele – am ajuns cu chiu cu vai la aeroport. Aveam toata averea familiei in total 76 de marci pe care ii tineam intr-un buzunar ascuns facut de mama. Nu se stie niciodata cum te pot fura nemtii. O sticla de apa in aeroport era in jur de 3 marci. Sa mananc ceva era undeva pe la 10 marci.

In avion am stat intre o doamna eleganta si un domn – am crezut neamt. Nu am vrut sa primesc mancarea servita in avion. M-am gandit ca probabil o sa fie mai scumpa decat in aeroport. Nici apa sau suc nu am luat. Din pungile care deja aratau murdare si erau soioase mi-am scos cozonacul si sandwich-urile in hartie de ziar – si ele pline de unsoare. Un sandwich a cazut pe doamna de langa mine. Apa am baut din sticla mea – a fost statuta dar macar era gratis. Am fost convins ca am facut ditamai economia.

M-am surprins acum cativa ani – strambandu-ma dezgustat la un tip brunet care mirosea a transpiratie, manca o chestie gretoasa si vorbea tare la telefon langa mine in avion.

Mi-am amintit ca doamna eleganta de langa mine a zambit – mi-a dat sandwhich-ul soios care ii aterizase in poala si mi-a urat pofta buna.  Domnul pe care il credeam neamt avea un ranjet dezgustat si era ingramadit langa geam ca si cum as fi avut raie. A injurat  cand nu am stiut cum sa imi desfac centura. Era roman si dupa injuratura ar fi putut foarte bine sa fie si tigan.

M-am socat ca desi trecusera 15 ani, eu eram brusc in rolul “neamtului”. Am vorbit cu cel de langa mine. Era intradevar pentru prima oara intr-un avion si plecase la munca in constructii in Germania. Era speriat de ceea ce urma sa i se intample. Am incercat sa il linistesc.

Cred ca fiecare dintre noi suntem intr-o continua schimbare. Constient sau nu, ceea ce ni se intampla, ceea ce citim, ceea ce auzim, cei cu care interactionam ne fac sa ne schimbam. Daca e in bine sau in rau – in cele mai multe cazuri depinde de sistemul de valori al fiecaruia.

Traian Basescu si-a cerut scuze public pentru Deportarea la Bug si pentru Holocaust.  Nu stiu daca a facut-o pentru ca a avut revelatia marlanului pe care l-am descoperit adesea si in mine sau a fost un gest simbolic. Dar prefer sa cred prima varianta.

Nu cred asta pentru ca imi place Traian Basescu sau pentru ca as fi un om bun. E o chestie mult mai pragmatica – sper ca si altii care s-au lovit vreodata de marlania mea sa gandeasca faptul ca am incercat sa ma schimb nu pentru a castiga ceva, ci pur si simplu pentru ca am mai invatat ceva dintr-o tampenie.

E motivul si pentru care ma abtin sa raspund catorva dintre comentariile nesimtite ( din ce in ce mai putine) pe care le primesc.