Petar Kirilov

Roma integration is a long-term challenge for the government and society. It requires the coordinated implementation of consistent, targeted, active and effective policies, the mobilization of responsible institutions and the civil society in order to make progress in specific public spheres, to prevent discrimination and inequality, poverty and social exclusion of the Roma. The aim of this study is to analyse the effectiveness of policies aimed at Roma integration in Bulgaria after the country’s accession to the EU, based on the example of a ghettoized structure – Stolipinovo district of the city of Plovdiv, and for this purpose, the case method has been used, presented through a questionnaire-based survey. The object of the study is the Roma population in Stolipinovo district of Plovdiv. Based on the survey conducted among 104 respondents from Stolipinovo district, the following conclusions were made:
• Stolipinovo district is a separate, homogeneous district in the city of Plovdiv, exhibiting specific problems, typical for the Roma community – unemployment, low education level, low health status;
• Many of its inhabitants spend their entire lives there;
• The relative share of Roma with no health insurance remains high. No change has been established in that aspect, concerning the studied contingent;
• Spatial isolation and overcrowding make it very difficult to isolate contagious people and infectious diseases are often epidemic;
• Roma parents’ motivation for their children to receive education is not very high, although they all want their children to have a better education and a chance for a better future, which is normal for every parent;
• Many young Roma in the neighbourhood are still without a proper education, leave school early, or don’t to go to school;
• The employment of the residents of Stolipinovo is diverse – some of them rely on aid and funds from relatives abroad, some are temporarily employed, others have small businesses, while most are begging;
• Segregation and poor housing conditions are the main factors that support the vicious circle of exclusion. Children continue to study (more than 95%of them) in segregated Roma schools in the neighbourhood;
• The Roma are caught in a vicious circle of secondary segregation not only in residential areas, but also in education and on the labour market. Prejudice in various areas leads to social exclusion and discrimination in education, health care and the labour market, and deepens the precarious living conditions by exacerbating prejudice.

Roma ethnic group, Roma integration policies, demographic characteristics, education, labour, housing, urban ghettoized structure of Stolipinovo, Plovdiv

Problems of Geography, 2022, Vol.1-2, DOI: 10.35101/prg-2022.1-2.4

Author information:
Author: Petar Kirilov
Affiliation: National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography – BAS, department of Geography, str. Acad. G. Bonchev, bl. 3, Sofia 1113, Bulgaria

This issue of “Problems of Geography” magazine is published with the financial support of Bulgarian National Science Fund at the Ministry of Education and Science.

How to cite:
Kirilov, P. (2022). Интеграция на ромите в кв. Столипиново, гр. Пловдив, след приемането на България в ЕС. Problems of Geography, 2022, Vol.1-2, p. 61-81.