ERGO’s work and vision showcased

ERGO’s work and vision showcased

This video shows the achievements of the work done by the European Roma Grassroots organizations (ERGO) network and its members under the Framework Partnership Agreement 2014-2017 with DG Employment supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation EaSI (2014-2020).

ERGO Network mobilizes and connects organizations and individuals who share a set of core values, to co-create the courage, capacity and approaches to: combat inequality, stigmatization and discrimination; strengthen Roma civil society participation in decision making at local, national and European level; commit governments and European institutions to effective anti-discrimination and social inclusion policies for Roma. ERGO has almost 30 members in more than 20 countries in Europe. Through its members ERGO became the only organization that brings the Roma grassroots voice directly to the EU institutions, but also helps the European institutions to understand better the needs of Romani communities.

Our dream is Roma to have the same opportunities like the non-Roma in education, employment and to all spheres of life and to be free from racism. In our opinion this can be happened only if we Roma take our lives in our hands.

Quotas from the video ;

“All people are humans, also Roma are humans” says Zuzana Havirova, Director of Roma Advocacy and Research Center from Slovakia

”If you want decide to be an activists then you are an activists by the heart” and “unite is power” said by Michal Miko member of SLOVO21 from the Czech Republic.

In video are featured:

JAMEN GABRIELA HRABANOVA (ERGO Network – Belgium)

ZUZANA HAVIROVA (Roma advocacy and Research center – Slovakia)

MICHAL MIKO (SLOVO 21 – Czech Republic)

IRINA SPATARU (Romano Centro -Austria)

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS – Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar
Brussels, April 6 until 13, 2018 (including travel days)

Join us in Brussels to learn about European policy-making and civil society advocacy, and to raise young voices in front of the European Parliament, European Commission and other stakeholders to combat antigypsyism and to advance important issues for Roma communities. This six days lasting seminar is organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network, ERGO Network and the Documentation and Cultural Centre & Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It will gather 40 young Roma and non-Roma activists in order to strengthen their capacity as young advocates and leaders to tackle antigypsyism. During the seminar, the group will run a youth campaign against antigypsyism targeting EU level actors, like Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. The advocacy seminar is part of the “EU Roma Week” around the 8 April – International Roma Day.

Our mission and vision

The organizers aim to empower young Roma to have a voice to become key agents of change, and to foster solidarity among young people! We have a strong vision to make a change in Europe. As young Roma and non-Roma we believe that we can build a European culture based on respect, dialogue, human rights and equal opportunities. We strongly follow our mission to create space for young people to become active citizens through empowerment, mobilization, self-organization and participation. “EU Roma Week” in the European Parliament Roma Week 2018 takes places from April 9-12, 2018 in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg to mark the occasion of the International Roma Day on 8 April 2018. Roma Week 2016-2017 resulted in the Slovak Presidency having two Council Conclusions on Roma with reference to the European Parliament’s 2015 resolution on antigypsyism and for the recognition of the Roma Genocide, as well as in a new Parliament report on fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism (of October 2017).

Objectives of “EU Roma Week”

EU Roma week 2018 is designed with the aim of bringing together Roma activists from the European Union to advocate for recognition and institutional responses against antigypsyism across Europe, as well as to engage in the discussions for a post2020 EU Framework for the National Roma Integration Strategies.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The seminar aims to strengthen the capacity of the participants to understand the structures and working mechanisms of the EU institutions, as well as the current EU policies concerning Roma and against racism, and to develop advocacy strategies and campaigns raising-awareness about antigypsyism on European level.

The objectives of the activity are to:

  • Get to know the European Union institutions and to understand their working mechanisms, and policies towards Roma, in particular of the European Parliament and European Commission;
  • Build a dialogue and bring a Roma youth perspective to DG Justice (responsible for Roma policies in the European Commission), to DG EAC (Education and Culture, includes the youth sector in the European Commission), as well as to Members of the European Parliament in particular of ARDI(Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup);
  • Learn about the work of the EU umbrella organizations and contribute to their work;
  •  Raise awareness of the participants about antigypsyism, and the current anti-racism policies;
  • Raise awareness of the participants about the Brussels-based civil society structures and their strategies against antigypsyism and racism (in particular ERGO Network, ENAR (European Network against Racism) and the European Youth Forum);
  •  Develop a youth campaign against antigypsyism and on Roma youth perspectives during the “EU Roma Week” of the European Parliament;
  • Raise awareness of Members of the European Parliament, European Commission staff and Brussels based advocates about the recognition of the Roma Holocaust and of antigypsyism, which was acknowledged in April 2015 by a European Parliament resolution and in a report of the LIBE Committee in October 2017.

THEMATIC GROUPS

Participants are asked to indicate already in their application their preference for one working group. During the training-course the participants will work in small groups of 10 to 15 participants around this theme.

  • Participation: focus on political participation of Roma and of young women and men, participation in mainstream political parties, European Parliament elections 2019, state institutions as well as participation in mainstream civil society and youth structures, such as National Youth Councils, European Youth Forum;
  • Antigypsyism: focus on the policy debate on combating antigypsyism, bringing focus on antigypsyism within the EU Roma Framework, with a special focus on youth and women,
    impact of antigypsyism on youth and women, role of youth and women in combating antigypsyism, issue of hate speech in the public field;
  •  Advanced Advocacy: focus on the mid-term review of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, and advocacy for a post 2020 European Roma Framework, the Social Europe/European Pillar of Social Rights policy and the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020.

 

Friday,

6 April

Arrival, joint dinner, welcome

 

Saturday,

7 April

Opening, sharing experiences

Training sessions: the European institutional framework, Roma-related policies

Sunday,

8 April

Training sessions  on advocacy and antigypsyism

Focus on the “Alliance against Antigypsyism”

International Roma Day events

Monday,

9 April

Work in thematic groups: Participation, Antigypsyism, Advanced Advocacy

Preparation of the Roma Week activities

Meeting with experienced EU advocates and activists

Meetings with external stakeholders in small thematic groups: European Commission, European civil society structures, International Organizations

Situation in Western Balkan and Turkey, EU Enlargement policies

Tuesday,

10 April

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament
Wednesday,

11 April

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament
Thursday,

12 April

Working Breakfast with various Members of the European Parliament;

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament;

Evaluation of the event and of the Roma week, Closing dinner

Friday,

13 April

Departure

PROFILE OF THE PARTICIPANTS

  • Present will be Roma and non-Roma youth leaders, activists, multipliers, and volunteers who are active in Roma communities and experienced in working with Roma communities and/or Roma youth. We aim to create a balanced group of experience participants and participants who have NOT participated in the training previously, and who demonstrate a strong interest in advocacy and political participation.
    Participants must also:
  • be able and committed to act as young advocates and multipliers in youth work on the themes of anti-discrimination, combating racism and antigypsyism and promotion of human rights with young Roma, for the benefit of Roma communities and Roma youth;
  • be motivated to develop their competences in advocacy, anti-discrimination work, human rights education and youth work and to share their experiences with other participants;
  • be actively committed and involved in a Roma (youth) initiative, advocacy group or organization;
  • be aged between 18 – 35 years;
  • be committed to attend for the full duration of the course;
  • be able to work in English, or check with the coordination that translation can be provided through other participants or team members;
  • be resident in one of the following countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia

DATES OF THE ACTIVITY

Arrival: April 6, 2018 (Friday)
Program days: April 7 until April 12, 2018
Departure: April 13, 2018 (Friday)

LOCATION

The seminar is organised in Brussels.
Accommodation is provided in Hotel Aviation, Square de l’Aviation 20, 1070 Bruxelles. The conference will take place in various venues. Information is provided with the Info Pack later.

TRAVEL

Participants should organize their travel (arrival and departure) for these dates AFTER the organizers have confirmed their participation. Earlier arrivals and late departures will be exceptions after discussion with the organizers.

COSTS

Reimbursement of travel costs:

The organisers of the seminar cover accommodation and food during the activity. The maximum of reimbursement of travel costs is € 200 (for French and German participants € 150); if costs are higher they have to be covered by participants or contact the organizers. The reimbursements of travel expenses (based on economical prices, Apex, student price, special price) will take place on the spot during the week in cash or by bank transfer after the activity. Participants should bring with them original invoices to prove the costs of travel as well the tickets.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION

How to apply? Register in the online application form:

https://goo.gl/forms/1oFCubAdEg1HO60H2

Application deadline: February 25, 2018 (end of day)

Selection procedure:

If you fit into the participants’ profile, you may submit an application until February 25 at midnight Central European Time. The preparatory team will select up the participants on the basis of the profile outlined above, ensuring also a balance between genders, geographical regions, different types of experiences and organizations. Within few days, we will inform the candidates whether their application has been accepted or rejected.

ANY QUESTIONS?

Contact person: Jozsef Rostas
e-mail: j.rostas@ergonetwork.org
ternype general contact: ternype@romayouth.com

Strengthening Roma civil society as independent and transparent watchdog organisations

Strengthening Roma civil society as independent and transparent watchdog organisations

ERGO members from the Western Balkans, Turkey and the ‘Visegrad countries’ Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic met in Brussels on 24-25 November to prepare a new ERGO project that will strengthen Roma civil society as independent and transparent watchdog organisations.

Being transparent and accountable are important prerequisites for the effectiveness of civil society organisations that are taken seriously by their institutional counterparts. It also shows public authorities that civil society take transparency and accountability very seriously and demand the same from the public sector.

With financial support from the International Visegrad Fund and the European Commission, ERGO Network member organizations therefore agreed on joining their efforts and put their thorough expertise together to set up a list of ‘transparency criteria’ and capacitate Roma civil society in their countries in implementing them.

During the meeting, all partners agreed that using transparency criteria would give them more legitimacy, better fundraising opportunities and more trust from both the grassroots level and institutions. They then drew up a list of criteria, divided into the chapters ‘governance’, ‘finance’ and ‘performance’. These include points such as giving access and distributing information about statutes and funding sources of CSOs, clear decision-making structures that divide responsibilities and ensure gender equality in CSOs, as well as the participation of target groups in the development of strategies and goals.  The partners furthermore stressed the importance of open leadership and regular training within the organisation that contribute to a positive performance of the staff, as well as the need not to use ‘dirty money’ coming for example from illegal sources or from companies using child labour.

Transparency also demands a proper and clear communication strategy (both internal and external) that communicates the vision, mission and the long term goals of the organization. If applicable, diversification of funds also contributes to more independence of organisations.

In 2018, ERGO Network will organise a training for trainers on the transparency criteria in order to help their usage and dissemination in the participating countries as well as offer coaching visits to the partner organisations. You will be able to find regular updates on our website.

Annual Members Meeting

Annual Members Meeting 2017

On 26 November 2017, ERGO Network’s member organisations came together for ERGO’s Annual Members Meeting. 45 participants from 25 member organisations joined the ERGO Board and Secretariat in Brussels for a day full of discussions and networking.

After being updated on the highlights of ERGO’s work in 2017, the members shared the achievements of their national and local organisations, showing the wealth of expertise that ERGO Network assembles through its membership. This expertise also became evident in a membership survey that ERGO has conducted in the past months and that has been presented by the secretariat, giving everyone a better oversight over the diversity within ERGO.

To follow up on this membership survey, the ERGO board set up a working group that will establish clearer criteria for membership in ERGO Network as well as propose reforms to the process of joining the network in the coming months.

Finally, the Annual Members Meeting was also an opportunity to plan common initiatives. During the ‘Open Space of Cooperation’, the participants discussed project proposals or used the time to share their experiences in specific working areas. One working group for example planned a European youth project on online hate speech, whereas another one discussed the current statutes of ERGO and reflected on possible constitutional reforms.

The following day, all members were invited to ERGO’s public event ‘Investing in our future: what work(s) for young Roma’, with some of them contributing as speakers to present promising examples of Roma youth employment and empowerment from their own work.

We thank every one of our members for contributing to the meetings and for all their input and engagement throughout the whole year.

Invitation: Public event on Roma youth employment

Investing in our future – what work(s) for young Roma

ERGO Network Public event

Monday 27th November, Mundo B, Brussels

09:00 – 12:30, followed by networking lunch

Equality of employment opportunities for young Roma is fair and just, but also a smart economic choice: It is an effective way to improve growth prospects and respond to the demographic challenge of rapidly ageing populations in EU Member States. Investing in young Roma breaks the cycle of poverty, discrimination and exclusion. It can yield high returns and can deliver the kind of lasting change that many policies and programmes have so far failed to achieve.

At ERGO’s Public Event, we will discuss the issue with representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Europe, present qualitative research done by ERGO members in five EU member states on youth employment measures and launch a campaign to mobilise support for investing in employment opportunities for young Roma.

The campaign will be centred on views and messages of young Roma themselves. We aim to convince decision-makers to support employment of young Roma and break the stigma that Roma do not want or can work. The campaign aims to make clear that young Roma want to work and can have opportunities, if sufficient investment is done and they receive the right support.

Download the programme here.

Please confirm your participation by 21st November here.