Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
The construction of 'Europe' functioning as a container for shared cultural and territorial claims as well as collective identities and memories constitutes a continuing and conflicting endeavour. In this context, the presence of Roma and Sinti in Europe and their historic exclusion have served various ideological and political means. Being defined as the categorical 'Other' and a counterpart to Western modernity, the exploitation of Europe's largest ethnic minority has helped to create European identities and a sense of community. Although the European Union has recognized Roma and Sinti as a 'true European minority' and implemented programs to improve the minority's situation in its member countries, EU policies continue to reproduce negative stereotypes and images of the 'Other'. By analyzing EU financed Roma projects in Slovakia, the paper examines various reasons for the ethnic group's perpetuated instrumentalisation and highlights contradictions between official EU rhetoric and the projects' realities.
The imagined Europe under siege