Supporting Roma integration in Hungary

Since 2000, Hungary has implemented a range of social integration projects focused primarily on employment, health, housing and education for the Roma community within the framework of the ERDF Regional Operative Programme and Social Infrastructure Operational Programme (SIOP).

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These projects, implemented over two programming periods between 2000 and 2013 through Hungary’s Structural Funds Managing Authority in coordination with the Ministries of Health, Education, National Development and Economy, have supported a ‘combined intervention’ approach.


Health actions include training and screening projects that advocate healthy lifestyles by educating participants on preventive medicine and promoting health monitoring and screenings. One project in particular comprises 10 NGOs reaching out to 2 000 Roma people in 33 micro-regions.


The Ministry of National Development and Economy is supporting complex technology projects, including building know-how, training, consulting and total quality management (TQM) services. The development of SMEs and micro-businesses in regions of high long-term unemployment is contributing greatly to job creation.


More than 300 school buildings and pre-school facilities have been renovated and the teachers have been re-trained for more inclusive, cooperative instruction methods. Over 1 300 Roma students are now receiving support annually from special tuition and mentoring networks. Additionally, know-how from the ‘Sure Start’ programme in the UK has been used to implement a similar programme for young children (the ‘Biztos Kezdet’ programme).


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour is leading the project preparation a complex housing intervention that will de-segregate 100 ghetto-like shanty towns between 2010 and 2014.

Pilot programme in the micro-region of Szécsény

The Szécsény micro-region is located in the deprived north-east of Hungary and is characterised by high unemployment, a high percentage of Roma population settlements and social disadvantage. This pilot project aims to tackle these issues through actions in a range of different fields such as: early development of skills; improvement of nutrition and health care for children; modernisation of social and children’s services and improvement of housing conditions and employment opportunities for parents.

Crucial to the project is its comprehensive approach, developing activities not only with the children but also with their families and also encouraging the active involvement of community leaders and experts.
Based on the experience with this pilot project, it will be extended to 10 other micro-regions.

Draft date