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Social Minister: Bulgaria - Example for Integration of Minorities

Date: 19.11.2006

Bulgaria has much to show and teach other countries about integration of minorities, said Social Minister Emilia Maslarova at the meeting of the international administrative committee of the Decade of Roma Inclusion initiative.

Bulgaria has done a great job until now in integrating minorities in the country and can be used as an example, she added.

In the past years Bulgaria took important steps in the Roma integration because everybody sees minorities' problems go beyond the country and ethnos borders. Bulgaria conducts policies, providing for non-discrimination of all minorities. The government has found a special body that deals with protection from discrimination of ethnic minorities.

Disaster Management Minister Emel Etem, who also attended the meeting, said the main priorities of the government are the preservation of ethnic, religious and cultural belonging of minorities and their stable integration in the social, economic and political life.

Bulgaria implements projects for minorities' literacy, qualification and employment. The financing of the projects comes from the state budget as well as from the European Union.

The main priorities of the Decade are the providing of good education, healthcare, employment and improvement of living conditions. They are aimed at overcoming poverty, improvement of living standard and providing better living conditions in the country.

Bulgaria took over from Romania the presidency of the initiative Roma Inclusion Decade on July 1, 2006.

The Decade, launched by the Open Society Institute and the World Bank last April, has outlined a set of priorities to improve the life standard of Roma people in eight countries, including Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

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