Slovak MEP of Romani origin joins the European People's Party
Slovak MEP Peter Pollák (OĽaNO), one of the three MEPs of Romani origin, is joining the European People's Party (EPP) faction at the European Parliament. That is currently the strongest political group there, with 219 MEPs.
Pollák said he wants to focus on balancing out the regional differences among the Member States and on access to education and services for all citizens. OĽaNO spokesperson Matúš Bystriansky informed the press of the decision on 6 June.
Another priority of Pollák's is regional-level work, which is why he wants to join the Committee on Regional Development. "Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the work of the European People's Party. Since my priority is the regions above all, I want to join the Committee for Regional Development so I will be able to aid Slovak cities and municipalities with drawing financing from the European Union," news server teraz.sk quoted him as saying.
The new MEP also wants to focus on children's education, above all for those from disadvantaged environments. "The question of children's education is also important to me, primarily children from disadvantaged environments. The European Union can aid more effectively and more in general as far as that goes. Of course, funding spent on that issue needs to be thoroughly monitored to see whether it gets to where it is actually needed. I want to place an emphasis on that during my work as well," he said.
The head of the Slovak delegation to the EPP, Ivan Štefanca (KDH), said Pollák will represent a significant reinforcement for defending the rights of minorities at the European Parliament. "I'm glad our faction, the European People's Party of Christian Democrats, has acquired during this electoral period a person such as Petr Pollák, who perfectly knows the problems of the regions of Slovakia and the needs of the minorities who live with us on the territory of Slovakia," he told teraz.sk.
During this year's elections to the EP, according to news server Romea.cz, two Romani men and one Romani woman were elected. Both Romeo Franz of Germany and Lívia Járóka of Hungary defended their seats.
Pollák will be seated at the EP for the first time. The number of Romani representatives there has fallen from five to three.
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