Call for expert on CLLD

Call for expert

ERGO Network is contracting an expert on Community-Led Local Development and Roma inclusion to coordinate part of our work programme on CLLD in 2018

Role of the expert

We are searching for an expert to coordinate ERGO Network’s capacity-building and advocacy work on Roma inclusion in the CLLD in 2018, which is part of our Annual Work Programme ‘Roma Included in Social Europe’ funded by DG Employment.

2018 is a crucial year for CLLD in Europe, as important steps are taken on EU and Member State level for the new programming period 2020-2027 and the Urban CLLD is expanded. The expert is expected to support ERGO and its member organisations in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in their capacity-building and advocacy work and to build on the experiences and achievements of the network in the area of CLLD from the past years.

Specifically, the expert is expected to:

  • Develop stage 3 and 4 of ERGO Network’s CLLD Quality Audit on Roma participation and implementation, coach members in using it, collect results and preparing the synthesis report
  • Develop stage 1 and 2 of a CLLD Quality Audit for the Urban CLLD
  • Develop a capacity-building trajectory for Roma NGOs and LAGs on Roma inclusion in the Urban CLLD
  • Support ERGO Network in setting up an EU advocacy strategy to ensure the next programming period includes Roma experiences in the CLLD.

Profile:

  • Excellent knowledge of Community-led Local Development in rural and urban settings and in the contexts of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia
  • Expertise on Roma issues and policies on European Union and member state level
  • Experience working with civil society organisations in the fields of advocacy and capacity-building
  • Good contacts with relevant stakeholders, such as Federations of LAGs, Rural Development Network, DG Regio
  • Good writing and analytical skills and ability to concisely summarise results for different audiences
  • Ability to work independently and at the same time coordinate regularly with the ERGO team and the member organisations

Conditions

Contract and budget: The expert will be subcontracted to fulfil part of the work programme in the Framework Partnership Agreement between ERGO Network and DG Employment. 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 5,800 EUR, all taxes and VAT included.

Application procedure

Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following documents:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Proposed methodology and timeline

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 CLLD Expert” by 10 July 2018, 23:59 CET.

A detailed project summary can be provided upon request.

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

Download the Call for expert

Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights kicks off in Brussels

Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights kicks off in Brussels

The European Youth Forum and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organized a Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights, in order to feed into a report on the same topic that will be prepared for the UN Human Rights Council later this year. ERGO Network was present at the 3 day meeting in Brussels, March 19-22.

In advance of the meeting, some background information was shared online to help participants prepare.  With a thematic questionnaire from the European Youth Forum, participants could get an insight in the organization`s submission to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ call for input for a study on youth and human rights.

The gathering brought together 22 participants from all over Europe from different youth networks, youth and student organizations as well as international associations. Together with EYF the aim was to give the opportunity to have in dept discussions during the event on a variety of topics that are related to youth rights, key challenges of young people, as well as framework, programs and policies designed by European actors, such as the Council of Europe and the EU.

The first panel discussion set the scene with the opening remarks delivered by representatives of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Youth Forum. It was important to mention some highlights regarding the current situation of human rights in Europe. Statistics and research show that today much of the continent’s public transport is not accessible, 70% of Roma report hunger and constant stigmatization, 30% of young people with black and Muslim origin don’t get a job because of their names, and youth homelessness is showing a slightly increasing tendency.

Good news is that Portugal’s efforts to create an inclusive environment to Roma and minorities serves as outstanding example. The Council of Europe with its interventions also strives to better shape policies for youth with its recommendations addressed to member states. The recommendations in question are regarding 1) access to social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods (2015); 2) youth work (2017); and young people’s access to rights (2017), the latter calling on governments to address discriminatory practises.

The key challenges that are faced by young people in Europe are present in all generations of human rights. According to Alice Barbieri (Council of Europe Advisory and Council on Youth), there is a great underrepresentation of youth at city councils, political bodies and parliaments in Europe, with only 2% of parlamentarians aged under 30 worldwide. Young people also lack education on active citizenship. Non-standard employment effects more the younger generations where the mandate is unpaid, unfair or the work is undeclared. This also means that employees are not part of the pension scheme and do not receive any social protection. It is a worrying trend to see that 30% of those aged 15-29 in EU live at the risk of social exclusion or poverty.

Amana Ferro (European Anti-Poverty Network) presented findings on key challenges for young people. According to her, the programs aimed at providing support to young people are present to some extent, but they do not function as comprehensive strategies to combat youth poverty, and do not serve as tools for great autonomy. Cash based income support is still widely considered as social benefit, however, in the European societies it serves as a key factor to social inclusion. Tamas Kadar (Equinet) introduced the framework of equality bodies in Europe, their practices and examples of discrimination.

Age restrictions take away opportunities in general from young people, and ethnic paygap remains an issue. It was highlighted that poverty is not a choice, and everyone has the right not to be poor. In order to cease poverty, one should have full ownership of life planning, and dealing with poverty shall be considered as fulfilling right rather than charity.

Key policies and programs targeting at EU, Council of Europe and UN levels outline a number of interventions in Europe and the world. Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies and programs on youth is crucial in understanding the framework of contributing to youth rights.

The Erasmus+ program is funded by the EU to provide to over 4 million Europeans the opportunity to gain competences and have a personal, socio educational and professional development through studies, raining, work experiences or volunteering abroad. The EU Youth Strategy lays out a framework for European cooperation in the youth field in the period of 2010-2018, adding here that youth policy is a national competence of member states. The EU Youth Guarantee is a scheme that aims to ease the transition from education to employment by ensuring that all young people aged 25 or under, get a good – quality offer of employment, training or further education within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

The Council of Europe (Committee of Ministers) has adopted two key recommendations relating to young people’s rights: CM/Rec(2016)7 on Young People’s Access to Rights and CM/Rec(2015)3 on Access of Young People from Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods to Social Rights. The latter focuses on policies to preent and eradicate the porverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion faced by young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the former covers civil, political, economic, social and cultural rigths providing guidance to states.

The United Nations adopted in 1996 and updated in 2007, the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) outlines 15 priority areas of action. In 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on Youth, Peace, and Security.

Following the thematic sessions a final report will be put together by the European Youth Forum with the inputs and contributions of the youth representatives. The report aims to recommend measures at international level – such as member states, the UN Human Rights Council – that would facilitate support the realization of young people’s rights.

ANTIGYPSYISM IN AUSTRIA

ANTIGYPSYISM IN AUSTRIA

We are happy to announce that our member from Austria Romano Centro published the third report on Antigypsyism in Austria that covers the period from November 2015 to October 2017.

Like the other two publications from 2013 and 2015, this report also follows a twofold objective: 1. Awareness of the wide public on the issue of antigypsyism. 2. Empower the people who are affected by antigypsyism to report the incidents and to defend themselves.

The report in hand is not a scientific study. Instead, it is a depiction of individual incidents that were reported to the Romano Centro and other counselling centres.  The reports include statements about the frequency of antigypsyist incidents and cover different areas where most of these types of incidents take place.

The report incorporates Reference Paper on Antigypsyism published in 2016 by the The Alliance against Antigypsyism that describes key features and manifestations of the phenomenon.

Read here the report ANTIGYPSYISM in Austria

European Semester 2018: Will EU Members States include Roma in their National Reform Programmes?

European Semester 2018: Will EU Members States include Roma in their National Reform Programmes?

On 22 November the European Commission launched the 2018 Autumn Package of the European Semester, the first step in the annual cycle of economic and social policy coordination between the EU Members States and the Commission.

Each year, the European Commission produces an analysis of each country’s situation in a number of policy areas, including social policies. These “country reports”, together with the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) drafted by national governments, lay the ground for the so-called Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs), which advise national governments on measures to take in their future policies. The country reports for 2018 will be released in February 2018.

Regularly the countries with large Roma populations (e.g. Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic) receive the recommendation to speed up the implementation of their national Roma integration strategies and ensure that Roma are not left behind. So far, however, these recommendations were hardly taken into account.

In the Annual Growth Survey the European Commission sets out general policies and social priorities for the year ahead.  After a few years of focusing on macroeconomic reforms, for 2018 the survey finally highlights again the importance of social issues and brings up the importance of an integrated approach for the inclusion of vulnerable groups. This reflects the recently adopted European Pillar of Social Rights and gives hope that it will be taken seriously by the European Commission and Member States.

According to the Annual Growth Survey the top priorities for 2017-2018 relevant for Roma are:

  • Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
  • Promoting well-functioning labour markets and modern welfare systems
  • Job creation and fair working conditions
  • Social protection and inclusion to tackle inequality and poverty

ERGO Network hopes that the European Commission will continue to give priority to social issues in the next steps of the 2018 European Semester and will not overlook Roma in its country-specific recommendations as the most excluded minority in Europe. The implementation of the EU Roma Framework with its National Roma Integration Strategies should be supported by the European Semester.

ERGO Network urges the European Commission and the Members States that their response to social problems should not only be linked to employment, but also to the rise of antigypsyist attitudes that Roma are facing daily and that impediment their wellbeing in all spheres of their life.

More on the European Semester here.

Opening up Communities, Closing down Institutions

Opening up Communities, Closing down Institutions: Harnessing the European Structural and Investment Funds

On 22nd November 2017, ERGO Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova took part in an event of the initiative Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch, where a report on the use of EU funds for community leaving was launched. The event took part in the European Parliament and was co-hosted by Mairead McGuinness, MEP (EPP) and Vice President of the European Parliament and Iskra Mihaylova, MEP (ALDE) and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development.Regarding children, evidence shows that a caring and protective family, immediate and extended, is central to a child’s health, development, and protection. Community living is a human right, recognised under European and international law. However, Roma children are overrepresented in institutional care, confirming that poverty is the chief cause of children being separated from their families and placed in institutions.

The report analyses the role of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) with respect to the transition from institutional to community-based living for children and young people, including those with disabilities, adults with disabilities and older persons in EU Member States. It contains examples, both positive and negative, that demonstrate how the Member States have implemented the ESIF regulations, how they are currently using or are planning to use the ESIF to support the transition to community-based living, and provides concrete recommendations for the current and next funding period post 2020.

Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova from ERGO Network brought the Roma perspective to the launch event. Children and young people make up almost half of today’s Roma population in Europe (around 35.7% under 15 years compared to 15% of the majority population). Investing in deinstitutionalisation is therefore an investment into Europe’s future generation that will yield very high returns. There is however a lack of preventive measures to stop institutionalisation of Roma children, as the number of social workers who support discriminated and poor families is insufficient and investment into community projects is extremely scarce.

She pointed out that new kinds of services need to be created that are adapted to the needs of the people, who should be involved in the design of these services. Only when beneficiaries have their say, the use of European Structural and Investment Funds can really be effectively used for social inclusion measures. This must of course include Roma beneficiaries, as they are often a main target for social inclusion measures.

The initiative Community Living for Europe looked in particular into the effect of the ex-ante conditionality 9.1 that demands Member States to invest in de-institutionalisation when using European Structural and Investment Funds. Also for Roma an ex-ante conditionality (9.2) is in place. It demands Member States to have a national Roma integration strategy in place if they want to access ESIF. As with conditionality 9.1. on active inclusion however, also in the Roma field having a strategy in place does not mean that it will also be implemented. A change in policy is therefore necessary that puts more emphasis on quality of implementation of social investment measures in EU member states.

ERGO and its member organisations will continue to monitor the use of ESIF for the social inclusion and poverty reduction of Roma and greatly appreciates the report issued by Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch.

You can find the report here: https://eustructuralfundswatchdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/cle-sfw_opening-up-communities-november-2017_final.pdf