Roma demand to be included in the SDGs

Roma demand to be included in the SDGs

At the heart of the EU Roma Week 2019, which brought over 100 European activists and stakeholders to Brussels, policy-makers and civil society met for the first public debate on Roma and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The debate was co-hosted by Cornelia Ernst, MEP of the Left Party, and the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network together with Soraya Post MEP, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and Sozialfabrik.

The debate was opened by Cornelia Ernst MEP who stated that “the global development agenda can and should be an important lever for fighting antigypsyism and racism”, calling to mind that the EU Roma Framework “has failed because it did not include the Roma community”. ERGO Network Director Gabriela Hrabanova stressed that “the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the promise of governments to leave no one behind provide crucial opportunities for advancing the rights of Roma in Europe”.

Stefan Meyer of Fresno Consulting presented the discussion paper ‘Roma included’, which was launched by ERGO Network with the event, and brought to the table recommendations for civil society on how to engage with the 2030 Agenda.

Reacting to the presentation, Henriett Dinók from Romaversitas highlighted the challenges for Roma organisations to keep track with new programmes and principles: “We here who have access to information on the SDGs, have to collect it, share it and use it to advocate! Then the SDG fora will serve as a platform for us to shape the narrative and to raise our demands.”

 

Paul Divakar, Chairperson of the Asia Dalit Right Forum, brought the global perspective to the panel and pointed out that the SDGs must be designed in a way that they also serve those who are excluded in their societies, across the globe. “If we are not named in the indicators, if there are no data, what do we do? That´s why need to fight for our rights together.”

On behalf of the European Commission, Katarina Ivanković Knežević, Director for Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion in DG Employment, stressed the potential of the SDGs to address questions of the inclusion and discrimination of Roma, and better take into account intersectionalities of gender and disability. Gesa Boeckermann (Policy Officer, Non-discrimination and Roma coordination Unit, DG Justice and Consumers)  highlighted that not only are the SDGs an important roof for policies related to Roma but that in reverse, by achieving Roma inclusion, the EU could also make an important step in its commitment to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

Romeo Franz MEP (Greens/EFA) closed the debate by underlining that (pro)Roma activists need to use the 2030 Agenda for supporting their fight against antigypsyism, as this racism is the main reason for the social exclusion of Roma across Europe.

Watch a record of the discussion here:

Roma Included: Can the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals contribute to combatting antigypsyism? Co-hosted by Cornelia Ernst MEP and Soraya Post MEP, the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and Sozialfabrik on 20 March 2019

EU Roma Week 2019

From 18-21 March 2019, the fourth EU Roma Week in the European Parliament will take place, with the active involvement of ERGO Network, its members and civil society partners.  The Roma Week consists of a series of events discussing  the current and future EU Roma rights agenda, hosted by Members of the European Parliament.

It will be preceeded by a Roma Youth Advocacy Training, bringing together over 30 young people to prepare their inputs to the week and learn more about EU advocacy. This five days lasting seminar is organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network, ERGO Network, Phiren Amenca and the Documentation and Cultural Centre & Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.

Additionally, civil society representatives will attend a meeting of the Alliance against Antigypsyism.

ERGO Network will be actively participating in the events in the European Parliament. Besides co-organising the panel debate ‘Roma Included: Can the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals contribute to combatting antigypsyism’, ERGO and its members will participate in discussions on the current and future EU Roma Framework and on creating truth and reconciliation commissions.

For more information, please contact info@ergonetwork.org

Hate speech by Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister

Picture credit: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

Once again, antigypsyist hate speech comes from the highest political level in Bulgaria. This time, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov demonised Roma in strongest terms after two incidents of violence carried out by individuals of Roma origin.

While we condemn the violent acts against a police man and a service man, we need to make it clear that hate speech and collective punishment against a whole group of citizens is utterly wrong and unacceptable.

Hate speech against the Roma community has strongly increased in recent years and no state institution in the country raises the issue. Vice versa: all political parties use anti-Roma rhetoric – not only the far right nationalists, but also the big mainstream parties.  This comes together with purposeful propaganda of the political class against civil society organisations and corrupting of the democratic process among the Roma community. 

Liliya Makaveva, ERGO Network board member from Integro Association has translated the following article reporting on the hate speech of Krasimir Karakachanov in order to raise awareness of European civil society that there are no limits for the political class in Bulgaria to blame the Roma community in their chase of political power.

Original article in Bulgarian.

“Gypsies in Bulgaria have become extremely insolent and the tolerance of Bulgarian society has been exhausted”.

This was said by the Minister of Defense, Krassimir Karakachanov, in connection with the latest case of assault on a serviceman in the village of Voyvodinovo. The Minister visited the village, where he met the village mayor Dimitar Toskov, the Mayor of Maritza Municipality Dimitar Ivanov and the head of the Plovdiv Regional Police Directorate. The commander of the 68 Brigade Special Forces, Brigadier General Yavor Mateev, met Krassimir Karakachanov as well. The Minister revealed that before the meeting he visited the injured military at ‘St. Panteleimon’ Hospital. “He will be operated tomorrow. He has a scuffed cheek and a lot of bruising around his eyes. The attackers hit him mainly in the head. His condition is good, he has an average bodily injury and maybe he will be released from hospital in a few days. The Ministry of Defense will bear all the costs of the treatment”, said Karakachanov.

“A few days ago a policeman was beaten, and now a military officer and this cannot go on any longer. The truth is that a comprehensive program to solve the Gypsy question needs to be elaborated. People don’t have to tolerate part of the population that only has rights and does not want to understand that there are duties and must that they must comply with the law. The measures must be literally binding the social benefits with the education and labour. Bulgaria must stop taking into account Brussels officials and human rights defenders“, the military minister said, quoted by Radio Focus. “Illegal buildings are another problem. The ghettos are a Scots story. Kids beat in succession. That cannot go on any longer. The program has been prepared and it will be submitted for discussion to the Council of Ministers. There is no point in waiting and endure more”, Karakachanov continued.

How long will the state fund the promiscuous gypsy birth-rate? This population does not want to work, to study and, in practice, become a marginalized community that lives under its own laws. For a person who used to live for granted, the easiest job is to make children to receive benefits. They have no any stimulus to work, to improve”, said the Deputy Prime Minister.



Call for a financial manager

ERGO

Call for financial manager – EXTENDED DEADLINE 15 JANUARY

ERGO Network is contracting a financial manager to be responsible for the accounting, tax system, right of the legal entity and human resources in the ERGO Network office in Brussels starting from 2019

ERGO Network

ERGO Network (www.ergonetwork.org) brings together 28 members from across Europe and supports organisations with a common perspective on Roma grassroots empowerment and equal citizenship to challenge stereotypes and combat stigmatization. We mobilize and connect organisations and individuals that share and express our values – active citizenship, shared responsibility, and passion – to strengthen and empower Roma civil society involvement in decision-making at local, national and European level and to address existing shortcomings of policies targeted at Roma.

ERGO Network is a Netherlands-based organisation – Stichting – with its branch based in Belgium.

Currently we are supported by DG Employment through a Partnership Framework Agreement and we are partners in several projects. Our annual budget is approximately 500.000 Euro.

Role of the expert

We are searching for a financial manager to be responsible for the accounting, tax system, right of the legal entity and human resources which cover the work of the organisation. ERGO Network runs an Annual Work Programme ‘Roma Included in Social Europe’ funded by DG Employment, is a partner in a project funded by DG Near under the IPA programme and a pilot project of the DG Justice, among others.

Specifically, the expert is expected to fulfil the following tasks:

Financial tasks:

  1. Bookkeeping outgoing and incoming invoices into the system (accountancy software) using  analytic departments
  2. Arranging payments by using ERGO’s two bank accounts (one Dutch and one Belgian)
  3. Preparing outgoing invoices to donors, members and other clients
  4. Quarterly reporting
  5. Financial reporting to donors
  6. Preparation of annual budget
  7. Financial forecasts (end of year forecast)
  8. Preparation of financial report and budget to the board
  9. Assisting project officer in preparation of budget and financial reports
  10. Liaising with the external auditors and accountants in the Netherlands
  11. Liaising with donors (EU Commission and Foundations)
  12. Fulfilling obligations for the Belgian VAT (franchise régime) and the Belgian tax administration

Human resources

  1. Liaising with the Belgian payroll company (Partena)
  2. Preparing contracts and identification “fiches” for new members of the staff
  3. Be the first contact point for staff for obligations/rights regarding Belgian labour law
  4. Liaising with the company responsible for medical checks (Mensura)
  5. Liaising with the staff insurance company
  6. Sending monthly staff presence report to the payroll company
  7. Order  luncheon vouchers on a monthly basis according to presence
  8. Collect staff timesheets
  9. Arrange for work permits when needed by staff from outside the EU

Profile:

  • Excellent knowledge of financial management and legal background in Belgium
  • Good command of English
  • Ability to work independently and at the same time coordinate regularly with the ERGO team and the member organisations
  • Educated to Bachelor degree level or similar (e.g. accountancy, financial management or other relevant degree)

Conditions

Contract and budget: The expert will be subcontracted to a role of financial manager in the ERGO Network Brussels based office.  The expert has no rights vis-à-vis the European Commission.

The expert shall be paid for the execution of the activities and services a fee of maximum 23,500 EUR, all taxes and VAT included.

Application procedure

Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following documents:

  • CV
  • Proposed operations and services

We will select the expert according to the principle “Value for money”. Please send your application to info@ergonetwork.org, indicating in the subject of the email “Application Financial Manager” by 15thd  January 2019, 23:59 CET.

A detailed organisation overview of financial and legal operations of ERGO Network can be provided upon request.

For further questions, please contact Gabriela Hrabanova (g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org)