Many policy-orientated researches on the socio-economic status of Roma in present day Europe are anchored in a present-centred and ahistorical framework (Powell and Lever, 2015) which leaves understudied the complex mechanisms of inequality and socio-economic marginalization that have historically characterized the Roma minority. Based on a quantitative analysis of occupational trajectories and other socio-economic indicators in two development regions from Romania, South-East and South-Muntenia, I will show that the Roma were not only losers of transition, but their (current) socio-economic exclusion is the result of past programs to improve their situation. If before 1989, Roma experienced some occupational mobility, despite remaining on the lower rungs of the social structure, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they were not only unevenly affected by the transition(s) in Central and Eastern Europe, but their precarious socio-economic status tends to reproduce intergenerational. While European and national polices are devised for combating their social exclusion, some programs have ambiguous and unsustainable effects on their wellbeing. The article concludes that despite the prevailing social inclusion narratives at the EU and national level, some social deficits are hardly addressed in the two regions.
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