Hungary’s Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog briefed EU ministers on Hungary’s social integration and Roma programmes at an informal meeting of the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) ending on Friday.
Balog told MTI after the two-day meeting held in Nicosia, Cyprus, that he had presented schemes to involve social partners in anti-poverty and gap-reducing programmes, as well as motivational programmes to enhance Roma involvement. He briefed ministers about the work of the National Economic and Social Coordination Council and the Roma Coordination Council as well as on agreements forged with the National Roma Council.
He mentioned as a positive example a government scheme to eliminate slums, in which over 100 local governments participated.
Balog said concerns had been raised at the meeting that the current economic crisis would trigger a social crisis as well. It was agreed that people who were active and willing to pull their weight instead of waiting for state support would have a better chance of breaking out of poverty.
The EPSCO meeting was organised by the six-month Cyprus Presidency of the EU, which started on July 1.