Let Romania pay
Beggars have become part of the street scene in many Swedish cities. And now there’s a proposal that the EU countries themselves have to pay for their citizens' social costs in other countries. The proposal comes from the Liberal People’s Party’s Lotta Edholm, school commissioner in Stockholm, and Erik Scheller, an EU Parliament nominee also from the Liberal People’s Party. The two write in a debate article that nine out of 10 beggars are Roman Romanians who have come to Sweden because of the poverty and discrimination in their homeland. According to Edholm, the problem is not because of what they cost Stockholm, but rather the actions of Romania.

"Financially, (the beggars) aren’t so burdensome. It is about a couple of million SEK (one million is $154,000). The problem is that these people suffer. They would rather sit in our cold streets instead of trying to make a living at home in Romania.” Edholm argues that it is about time the European Union acts tough against Romania.
”We must speak out and say that this is about Romania and that 90 percent of these people are Romanian citizens. If Romania had historically acted against their own population the way they do today, they would not have become an EU member. These are serious violations of human rights,” Edholm says.
She also reacts to Romania’s unwillingness to help the Roma, saying they fail to apply for EU funding for social projects.
"There is a lack of will from Romania to want to solve this,” she says. "During the past years, Romania has only applied for 20 percent of the benefits that contribute to help solve these problems. We ought to bring about an EU directive that makes it possible to add the cost that other countries have to the Romanian government. That would put pressure on Romania to actually help their own citizens to a better life at home.”
Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag (also from the Liberal People’s Party) wants to see more defined requirements for Romania: "It’s important to get a discussion about the situation of the Roma in Europe going,” he says.
"It’s downright offensive that we allocate funds to (EU) member countries that don’t even apply.” Ullenhag explains that there’s currently no discussion about an EU directive in this matter.