European Roma Atlas Prepared

2016. December 14. - 13:30 Researchers from the University of Debrecen participate in the international project preparing a volume on the status of the Roma minority in Europe.

The Department of Social Geography and Regional Development of the Faculty of Science and Technology presented this summer its research on the Roma, a subject insufficiently explored in the past, which surveyed the actual size of the Roma population in Hajdú-Bihar and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Counties of Hungary, as well as their situation in terms of social integration.

The research group at the University of Debrecen has been cooperating on the topic with experts at the University of Miskolc in Hungary, the Jagiellonian University in Poland, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in the Czech Republic and the University of Prešov in the Slovak Republic. It was at the latter institution that the questionnaire had been developed on the basis of which the Slovak Roma Atlas was prepared. Later, experts in Debrecen started out on the basis of the same methods for the Hungarian studies.

The joint research project has come to yet another milestone in the autumn: the need for formulated for the atlas to be extended from the Visegrad countries to the entire Danube Region. Researchers from the countries concerned met in Brussels in early December to review the current tasks at hand.

“In addition to the completed Slovakian survey and the Hungarian one covering two counties, the preparations are in progress for the Romanian version, and work has started on the Slovenian, Croatian and Bulgarian versions as well. We can already report on our own experiences and the specific features found in Hungary, and we can thus offer useful advice to the other researchers for the surveys still under way,” said János Pénzes.

The assistant professor of the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development added that, in addition to the population figures, the research also aims to draw a realistic picture of the economic, social and cultural situation on the basis of data supplied by the local authorities. They survey examines indicators of education, employment and physical mobility as well.

“This European atlas cannot answer every single question, but it is indispensable in order to make progress in terms of both the research and the field of policy recommendations. The data gathered in the survey will also be used by healthcare professionals, sociologists, social policy makers and educational specialists,” said Pénzes.

Researchers participating in the international project will continue the evaluation of the survey results available so far, and the aim is also to cover an even larger area by the survey in the subsequent period. The researchers of the University of Debrecen are currently looking for funding opportunities that would enable them to extend the project, currently encompassing two counties, to the entire country.

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