Social solidarity, human rights and Roma: unequal access to basic resources in Central and Eastern Europe

Richard Filĉák and Daniel Škobla

in Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427274
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305552 | DOI:
Social solidarity, human rights and Roma: unequal access to basic resources in Central and Eastern Europe

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This chapter argues that the continuing presence of widespread inequalities across European societies militates against the achievement of solidarity. Manifested also as disparities in access to important resources for daily living, these inequalities represent a growing challenge as the liberalization and privatization of water and energy markets has led to a higher proportion of incomes being spent on water, gas and electricity bills. The chapter argues that problems with access to basic resources are a form of poverty and social exclusion, which arise out of a combination of complex, interwoven institutional and structural challenges representing a significant challenge to marginalized ethnic groups. Drawing upon research from the Central and Eastern European countries, with a focus on the Roma population, it highlights the need to build approaches across Europe that are based on solidarity and integration instead of egoism and exclusion. The findings of the chapter have wider significance for a broader context of access to natural resources and energy among other marginalized ethnic groups in Europe, since the mechanisms of exclusion and barriers are present in many other countries and are not exclusively the problem of Roma (e.g., migrants, refugees etc).

Keywords: solidarity; inequality; marginalized ethnic groups; exclusion

Chapter.  8873 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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