Roma inclusion through local partnerships

On 3 December 2018, ERGO Network concluded the first year of its 4-year work programme RIISE (Roma Included in Social Europe) with a panel debate discussing how Roma inclusion can be fostered through meaningful local partnerships.

Emphasising the importance of Roma participation in all stages of decision-making, from the local to the European level, is one of the founding principles of ERGO Network, and many of our activities focus on building trust and partnerships between Roma communities and institutions.

During the panel debate, the speakers highlighted several angles, good examples and pitfalls of partnerships on local level.

The event was opened by introductory remarks from Romeo Franz, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA and Andor Urmos, Policy Analyst, Directorate General for Regional Policy, European Commission.

It was followed by a panel moderated by former ERGO Network director Ruus Dijksterhuis, who discussed with Dominique Be (DG Employment), Maaike Buyst (Eurocities), Dijana Pavlovic (Upre Roma Italy), Valeriu Capraru (National Federation of Local Action Groups Romania), Tobias Mayr (Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe) and Andrey Ivanov, Fundamental Rights Agency.

Dijana Pavlovic opened the panel by describing the local reality in Italy, where the level of antigypsyism also in local authorities is extreme. Building partnerships is difficult in a climate where Romani people always have to fear to lose their home during regular evictions.

Dominique Be presented the ROMACT programme, a joint initiative between the European Commission and the Council of Europe that seeks to assist mayors and municipal authorities to work together with local Roma communities to develop policies and public services that are inclusive of all, including Roma. Maaike Buyst spoke about several good practice examples of municipalities in Eurocities Roma inclusion working group, for example Ghent or Goteburg, including Roma mediators, Roma councils and other initiatives. Tobias Mayr presented the Declaration against anti-Gypsyism of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers.

Valeriu Capraru spoke about opportunities and challenges for Roma inclusion through Local Action Groups in the CLLD process. Andrey Ivanov, Head of Sector Roma and Migrant Integration, Technical Assistance & Capacity Building, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: presented the new report of the Local engagement for Roma inclusion” (“LERI”) project.

It became clear that two issues are important: Partnerships need to be backed by proper funding and capacity-building of both Roma civil society and local authorities, and antigypsyism need to be tackled on all levels in order to ensure trust of Roma towards institutions.

The conference was closed by ERGO board member Adriatik Hasantari together with Szabolcs Schmidt, Head of Unit Non-discrimination and Roma coordination European Commission, DG Justice, and Marie-Anne Paraskevas, Senior Policy Expert, Social Affairs & Inclusion, European Commission, DG Employment.

After the debate, the participants were invited to celebrate the ten years anniversary of ERGO Network together with ERGO staff and members, going together through the history of ERGO empowering the Roma grassroots and bridging Roma realities with EU policy-making.

 

Need for mapping of Local Roma Communities

Our Romanian member, Center of Resources for Social Inclusion CRIS in October organised two meetings in Ploiesti with the representatives of 10 Local Action Groups (LAG) from South-Muntenia and South-East Regions and of 2 newly established Urban Local Action Groups from Ploiesti and Campina, within the framework of the Annual Work Programme 2018 supported by the European Commission’s Program for Social Innovation and Employment.

The aim of the meetings was to strengthen the cooperation between Roma civil society from local level and LAGs in regards to accessing, implementing and monitoring of measures affecting Roma communities in the Local Development Strategies (LDS).

The handbook on Training for local stakeholders and Local Action Groups teams on CLLD and how to increase the access to funds available in the LEADER program for Roma developed by Nevo Parudimos, another member of ERGO from Romania, was presented to participants and it was considered to be useful for the implementation of the LDSs.

While improvements have been done since last year’s meetings with the LAGs, by having Roma communities from local level and especially the urban marginalized communities from Ploiesti and Campina included in the LDSs through specific measures, more needs to be done according to the representatives of LAGs.

For example, the Urban LAGs mentione had to refer to the official number of Roma in the two cities according to the late census in 2016 when they developed the strategy. As this number is obviously lower than the reality, the measures targeting Roma in the strategy could have been more than only one or maximum two as it is now.

Therefore one of the main conclusions of the meetings was the need for mapping of the local Roma communities to be recognized, assumed by each ministry, and to be taken into account in the future financial allocations, with Roma among the target groups.

Registration: Conference & ERGO Network’s 10 Years Anniversary Party

                                  Conference & ERGO Network 10 Years Anniversary Party

  Register here by 26 November 2018

ERGO Network has been working actively to use bottom-up and partnership-based approaches such as Community-Led Local Development to engage Roma people more actively in shaping the future of their local communities. Involving Roma themselves in the development, implementation and evaluation of programmes creates trust between authorities and Roma, contributes to more effective needs-based approaches and avoids misuse of funds.

At ERGO Network’s Conference, we will discuss the potential of local partnerships between Roma communities and other stakeholders and give recommendations from the Roma grassroots level on how to strengthen local partnerships through the next EU programming period.

Download the concept note and agenda here.

The conference will be followed by ERGO Network’s 10 years anniversary celebration, with food, bubbles and Roma live music!!

2017 ERGO Network Annual Report

2017 ERGO Network Annual Report

ERGO Network’s annual report for 2017 is now available. Read the  2017 ERGO Annual Report and learn how ERGO Network and  its members introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to fight antigypsyism and to empower Roma in 2017. In addition the annual report 2017 presents the initiatives undertaken by ERGO to ensure networking between, and capacity building of member organisations. The report contains relevant information and graphs on the achievements and progress made to strengthen the Roma community. ERGO Network will definitely keep the wheel rolling to support the implementation of more and better measures for Roma.

Read the  2017 ERGO Annual Report

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