“ROMA” LABELLING, IDENTITY POLITICS AND EU-INTEGRATION: THE CASE OF MONTENEGRO
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The article makes an overview of the groups labelled as Gypsy/Roma and minority policies related to Roma in present day of Montenegro. It discusses how – in view of the processes in the region and in the course of the state’s EU-integration –the top-down approach of adopting definitions centred on the terms “Roma and Egyptians” and “Roma” have influenced the state politics of identity regarding supporting and promoting new identities, as well as reinforcing the label “Roma” and “Romani” for all communities considered of common (Gypsy/Roma) origin. Further on, the impact of EU-integration discourse on legislation and setting up Romani and Egyptian organizations is discussed within the public policies sector. Finally, I discuss initiatives and resources for publishing in Romani language in a country where a great part of the groups considered being of Romani origin speak another language as a mother tongue. My main argument is that the minority protection EU-conditionality and the special focus on the rights of the Roma, have led to an “import” of Roma issues for “solving”, along with copy-pasting of activities that supposedly aim to flag Romani identity and language even though neither Romani identity nor Romani language are characteristic for all communities labelled as “Roma”.
419 – 435
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