Czech Republic Appoints its First Roma Commissioner

Lucie Fukova will coordinate the activities of ministries working to improve the lot of the country’s Roma minority. She also wants to improve the way Romani people are seen in Czech society.

The Czech government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala last month created the post of government commissioner for Roma community affairs — an important step in addressing the complex situation of the country’s Roma community. It appointed 41-year-old Romni Lucie Fukova to the post.

“The government takes the matter of the integration of national minorities very seriously,” Czech government spokesman Vaclav Smolka told DW. “Because integration measures are very disjointed, the government decided to create the post of government commissioner in this area primarily to act as a coordinator between the ministries.”

Fukova hopes that her work will ensure that the money that the Czech Republic and the European Union spend on improving the situation of the Roma community will go where it is needed most. Roma and Sinti communities are Europe’s largest, and most disadvantaged, minority, and Roma are estimated to make up about 2.5% of the population of the Czech Republic.

“Simply put, [I want] to find a way to help that will be based on the real needs of Romani people,” Fukova told the website “I will also work comprehensively on the overall perception of Romani people in society. Czechs and Roma don’t know each other; prejudice makes it harder to live together.”

Experience at European level

Lucie Fukova belongs to what is still a relatively small group of Roma who have a university education. She has a degree in social anthropology from the University of Pardubice and completed an internship at the European Commission, during which she helped to prepare the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU.

In 2007, she was Czech coordinator of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. She recently worked as an advisor on matters relating to the Roma community in the region of Pardubice.

Lucie Fukova

Focus on training for young Roma

Fukova considers one of her most important tasks as commissioner for Roma community affairs to be the creation of the social conditions needed to allow Roma in the Czech Republic to get education and professional training and, therefore, a better start in life.

“It goes without saying that when a family reaches a certain level — a good home, a good job — it’s easier for the children in that family to continue their professional training,” Fukova said in a radio interview shortly after her appointment.


In the last census conducted in the Czech Republic in 2021, 21,000 people gave Roma as their ethnicity. Yet according to official government estimates, there are about 250,000 Roma in the country, which has a population of approximately 10.5 million.

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