Roma Civil Monitor: the third cycle

Roma Civil Monitor partners gather at the Central European University to define the topics of the third round of civil society monitoring reports

Image credit CEU / Andras Dimeny (kepszerk.hu)

The year 2020 will mark the final year of the current EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, within which Member States have developed their own national targeted policies for Roma or ‘sets of policy measures’. Since 2012 the Commission has been reporting annually on the implementation by the Member States and since 2016 the Member States have been reporting to the European Commission. Civil society efforts to produce reports about the implementation from their perspective were intensified in 2017 when the Commission funded the Roma Civil Monitor project.

The project involves about 90 civil society organizations and experts from all EU Member States (with the exception of Malta) as well as four NGOs with experience working internationally on Roma-related issues, including ERGO Network.

Monitoring reports are available for the first cycle, which investigated how the Member State strategies combat antigypsyism and discrimination, governance and, for the countries with the largest Roma communities, the impact of mainstream education policy on Roma. The findings of the second cycle are also now available. During this cycle, the reporting in all countries focused on education, employment, healthcare and housing.

This year in September representatives of the Roma civil society coalitions met at Central European University in Budapest to discuss which topics they are hoping to address in the third cycle reports. This time the focus will be on what has been missing from the implementation or from the strategies themselves, so the content will vary from country to country.

Some of the topics discussed were the following: Antigypsyism in policymaking; Ensuring Roma inclusiveness in mainstream programmes; Integrated approaches for Roma inclusion; Civil society, empowerment and participation; Social services, fighting homelessness, substance abuse; Youth, children protection and rights, parenting skills, 0-3 care and many other topics. ERGO Network’s advocacy and research coordinator together with colleagues from the Center for Policy Studies lead the workshop on combating antigypsyism and targeting mainstream. Many participants found the topic relevant and identified specific problems that they intend to address in their national context. The next step is both assisting the CSOs and experts in the preparation and the actual preparation of the third cycle reports.

We expect that the publication of the third cycle shadow reports will describe to what extent the situation has developed and where the biggest “blind sports” are, which would be one of the tools and resources used in the process of creation of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework.