Roma or Gipsies form one of the oldest ethnic minority groups in Latvia, being an integral part of the cultural diversity of Latvia already since the 16th century. The Roma are considered to be the largest ethnic minority group in Europe. A trend to describe the large-sized community with an endonym “Romá” (in Latvian - “romi”) has become popular during the recent years in the Europe and other countries, including Latvia which, since the first World Romani Congress in 1971, has gradually become a universal name for all nationalities of Roma.
Taking into consideration the socioeconomic situation of Latvia, especially in education, employment, health care and housing sector, and a small number of the Roma population in the country, the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the ministries of joint responsibility in 2012 developed a set of measures of the national policy in accordance with the European guidelines for the integration of Roma. These measures are included in the action plan designed for the Guidelines on National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy for 2012–2018.
Deniss Kretalovs, Senior Civil Servant of the Social Integration and Civil Society Development Division. Deniss.Kretalovs@km.gov.lv, phone: +371 67330312