The disappointing results of over two decades of activism in the
supposedly more liberal climate of post- Communist democracies
prompted Andr s B r, Hungarian journalist and renowned human rights
activist to put down his reflections about the situation of Roma in
Eastern Europe. These thoughts in turn stimulated insightful
responses from two scholars of the subject: Nicolae Gheorghe, an
ethnic Roma living in Romania, and Martin Kovats, among others
special advisor on Roma issues to the European Commission in
These authors do not shrink from expressing forthright views, as
in discussing the apparent conflict between certain human rights
values and what some regard as 'traditional' Roma culture and in
exploring difficulties and ambiguities implicit in using the term
'Roma'. The respective merits of ethnically based Roma political
parties as opposed to a civic approach are also examined.
The three essays challenged other stakeholders who discussed
the burning issues raised th
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