In November 2011, following the public consultation of the draft “National Social Inclusion and Roma Strategy” [1], the government adopted a document entitled “National Social Inclusion Strategy: Extreme Poverty, Child Poverty, the Roma”  [2]. The Strategy, which targets not only the Roma, but also people living in poverty, especially children, identifies six intervention areas: the well-being of children, education and training, employment, health care, housing, fight against discrimination. The Action Plan of the National Social Inclusion Strategy for 2012-2014 was implemented by a government decree, in December 2011. [3] The European Commission assessed the national Roma strategies of Member States during the first quarter of 2012, [4] and released a Communication on its findings on May 21.[5]

- The Commission’s analysis of the Member State’s National Roma Integration Strategy or the corresponding set of policy measures focused on four highlighted areas (education, employment, healthcare and housing) and also structural requirements, such as cooperation between civil society and local authorities, monitoring systems and financing. Hungary’s National Strategy for Social Inclusion has received a positive evaluation in the Communication. As a specific criticism referring to Hungary, the evaluation mentions the partially developed monitoring and evaluation system as a weakness of the submitted strategy. In their acknowledgement of the Commission’s analysis, the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources and Social Integration stated that in 2012 specialist and public consultation will lead to a Government action plan in this area.[6]

The Commission also highlights two programs initiated by Hungary which could serve as a model to other Member States, namely the parts of the Strategy dealing with actions promoting Roma inclusion in healthcare and actions promoting Roma inclusion in housing.

The Communication ends with a general proposal and call for all Member States: “However, much more needs to be done at national level. Socioeconomic inclusion of Roma remains first and foremost the responsibility of the Member States and they will need stronger efforts to live up to their responsibilities, by adopting more concrete measures, explicit targets for measurable deliverables, clearly earmarked funding at national level and a sound national monitoring and evaluation system.” [7]

Also, experts and NGOs compiled written reviews on the Hungarian Social Inclusion Strategy and the related documents:

- The “Review of EU Framework National Roma Integration Strategies”, published by the Open Society Foundations, assesses the strategies of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Regarding the Hungarian Strategy, the review concludes that “in terms of depth (references), ambition (cataloguing and quantifying the challenges) and sweep (the range of policy areas dealt with) the strategy surpassed expectations” and “the description of the situation of Roma is rich and nuanced”. According to the review, the most problematic features of the Strategy are that “de-segregation, mentioned in the EU framework concerning education and housing, seems to be a taboo for the government” and “increasing employment is foreseen mainly by public works instead of the job market or the social economy”. [8]

- The “Recommendations to the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy”, compiled by the Partners Hungary Foundation and the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation is based on the written comments of NGOs regarding thematic fields and horizontal aspects.  The document expresses strong criticism regarding the lack of explicit guarantees and positive measures for Roma minority rights (culture, language, institutions); and the lack of an articulated human rights approach (fundamental rights, prevention of hate crimes). [9]



  1. Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, State Secretariat for Social Inclusion, 2011, Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási és Roma Stratégia, 2011–2020 – Tervezet. (National Social Inclusion and Roma Strategy, 2011-2020, Draft),, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  2. Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, State Secretariat for Social Inclusion, 2011, 2011–2020 Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégia – Mélyszegénység, gyermekszegénység, romák – 2011–2020 (National Social Inclusion Strategy – Extreme Poverty, Child Poverty, the Roma –  Budapest, November 2011),, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  3. Hungary, 2011,  A Kormány 1430/2011. [XII. 13.] Korm. határozata a Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégiáról, valamint végrehajtásának a 2012–2014. évekre szóló kormányzati intézkedési tervéről (Decree No. 1430/2011. (XII. 13.) of the Government Regarding the National Social Inclusion Strategy and Governmental Action Plan for the Implementation Thereof in the Years 2012 to 2014),, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  4. Horka, H, 2011, EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. Meeting of the EU Expert Group on Social Determinants and Health Inequalities, Luxembourg, 13 December 2011., Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  5. European Commission, 2012, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework,, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  6., 23.05.2012, Hungary's Roma Strategy Generates a Highly Positive Response, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  7. Communication, p. 16
  8. Rorke, Bernard, 2012, Review of EU Framework National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS), Open Society Foundations review of NRIS submitted by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, Date of access: 06.11.2012.
  9. Partners Hungary, 06.03.2012, Recommendations to the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy. Prepared by a group of Hungarian non-governmental organisations,, Date of access: 06.11.2012.