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The Roma are one of Europe’s largest ethnic minorities with a population of about 10-12 million living in a number of Member States.
Born in a small village near Vilnius in the 1930s, Aldona Mikalauskiene has witnessed first-hand some of Europe’s greatest upheavals, from the atrocities of the Second World War to difficulties and conflict under Soviet rule, to eventual independence for her small nation of Lithuania.
“Like many people today, I use computers both for business and pleasure. Knowing how to get the most out of these technologies means a better life and a more promising future.”
Mogens Lausen has an outgoing and engaging personality, but he wasn’t always that way.
“I like my work,” says Biliana Filipova, from Dupnitsa in Bulgaria. “I’m constantly on the move and every day is different.”
Tsvetan Ivanov's philosophy of life is very clear: “Helping each other makes us all stronger,” he says. “Looking after number one is not a policy I agree with.”
People with disabilities make up one-sixth of the EU’s working-age population, but their employment rates are low compared to their non-disabled counterparts.
2010 has been designated European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion.
Fiorella, 50, lived on the streets of Bologna, Italy, for two years before starting a vocational training course designed for homeless people.
Peter Meller and his wife Olga are settling into their new home in Magdeburg, in Saxony in the east of Germany, where Peter has recently started a job as a software programmer for a small engineering firm.