After Romania joined the EU in 2007, the EU counts over ten million Rroma citizens. They have become a threat to Europe's social cohesion, as the European Commission admitted. These are the words of an article in the French daily Le Figaro.
The minority of gypsies in Romania, estimated at about 2 million souls is the most important in Europe. And the most miserable. Organized beggary, prostitution and various forms of trafficking offered criminal networks ways to prosper. Even if these networks are well known, they enjoy almost full immunity.
More or less assimilated under Communism, gypsies in Eastern Europe paid the social costs of the economic transition in the early 1990s. The expansion of the EU brought about some institutionalized measures for them. The EU, the World Bank, NGOs like the Soros Foundation unlocked funds and lead to awareness campaigns.
In 2000, the perspective of Romania's membership to the EU compelled Romanian authorities to attend the needs of this community. Bucharest requested the help of mediators responsible to improve their access to health services or educations. These measures and efforts relaxed after Romania joined the EU.
The world economic crisis does not favor Rroma integration and tensions reached new heights. In this context, Hungary and Romania plead for the creation of a European Agency for the Rroma community.