PECAO’s workshop materials and media monitoring tool now available

PECAO’s workshop materials and media monitoring tool are available for download

With approximately 12 Million people living in Europe for centuries, the Roma are the continent’s biggest ethnic minority. At the same time they are the its most disliked and discriminated minority, with every third person not wanting to have a Roma neighbour and 80% of Roma living at the risk of poverty.

Antigypsyism – a specific form of racism against people who are perceived as ‘Gypsies’ in the public imagination, is at the core of the social exclusion and discrimination of Roma.

PECAO will counter antigypsyist hate speech online by working with young people, using a combination of peer education and monitoring in order to obtain two-fold results: the peer education methodology will achieve a direct change in attitudes and actions of a high number of young people, and the monitoring will contribute to better understanding and a more systemic change of policies through advocacy based on the results.

By using the standard workshop materials created by the consortium and translated in the available languages (EN, BG, CZ, HU, RO and ES), participants of the workshop will be able to understand the phenomena of antigypsyist hate speech and its impact on Roma, as well as the importance to monitor and report that speech online. Furthermore, the participants of the workshop can engage into advocacy and work towards better anti-discrimination policies by addressing antigypsyism as bias motivation, as well as raise awareness among various stakeholders about the antigypsyist hate speech in online media.

The project consortium of PECAO consists of the following partners and funding:

Funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) with co-funding from Google.org:

Funding from the Google.Org Impact Challenge on Safety in the framework of ERGO Network’s project Peer education to counter antigypsyist online hate speech:

The standard workshop materials are available in English, Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian and Spanish language for the moment. Should you have any additional requests for session outlines examples, exercises, or need for additional information concerning the topic, please write an e-mail to ERGO network at info@ergonetwork.org by adding the word PECAO to your subject line.

The materials consist of the following documents:

  • M01 – Objectives, Impact and Methodology
  • M02 – Aim and objectives of the workshop
  • M03 – Programme of the workshop
  • M04 – Non-formal education
  • M05 – Protocol form for monitoring media content with hate speech

As well as the media monitoring tool with a glossary available within the tool.

You can access the materials here and media monitoring tool here.

Publicity Disclaimer:

This publication was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme  (REC 2014-2020) and Google.Org Impact Challenge on Safety. The European’s Commission’s and Google.Org’s support for the production does not constitute and endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views of the authors only, and the European Commission and Google.Org cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained there.

ERGO’s monitoring of the European Semester

ERGO Network continues its monitoring of the European Semester and meets the cabinet of Commissioner Nicolas Schmidt

The European Semester had a surprise early start this year, with the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS) released two months earlier than expected, in September 2020. This year’s document is driven by an overriding impetus to fight the immediate consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and build a green and digital Europe, and is built around the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the central pillar of Next Generation EU, which is the European Union’s “emergency temporary recovery instrument to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, support an economic recovery and build a better future for the next generation. ERGO Network members are already engaging on the ground with the drafting of the National Plans that Governments need to submit to access these funds.

While there is no explicit mention of the European Roma in the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, ERGO Network welcomes that “people with a minority racial or ethnic background” are indicated as having been disproportionately hit by the coronavirus crisis. There is a lack of coordination and complete disconnect between Europe’s growth and recovery strategies and the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion, and Participation. While it is indicated that the National Resilience and Recovery Plans should be consistent with other national initiatives, such as the Energy and Climate Plans and the Partnership Agreements and Programmes, sadly nothing is said about coherence with the National Roma Integration Strategies. You can read ERGO Network’s full response to the ASGS here.

The situation is mirrored by the draft Joint Employment Report, which was released as usual at the end of November. This year’s disconnect between the ASGS and the draft Joint Employment Report means that the former was not underpinned by the latter, and that Europe’s priorities for a green, digital, sustainable and inclusive recovery were not guided by in the in-depth analysis of realities on the ground that the Report provides. While the Roma are mentioned a number of times throughout the document, it is exclusively in the context of access to education. While the focus on improving Roma access to quality and inclusive mainstream education is very welcome, particularly as it also refers to obstacles such as severe poverty and housing exclusion, tackling structural problems like persistent poverty or rampant discrimination does not seem to be a concern. The Report also contains no reference to the situation of ethnic minorities or combatting antigypsyism and racism. Read ERGO Network’s full response to the draft Joint Employment Report here.

Based on the extensive work carried out by the ERGO Network to include a Roma perspective on the European Semester and other social and economic inclusion strategies at EU level, we secured a meeting with the Cabinet of Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights. The exchange, attended from the Commission side by Policy Advisors Christoph Nerlich and Anouk Faber, focused on how to create positive synergies between the EU Roma Strategic Framework and the European Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027. It also touched upon other social policy topics that ERGO Network is working on, and which fall under the purview of DG Employment, such as the the Youth Guarantee, Child Guarantee, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as social economy and minimum income.

ERGO Network members Katalin Nagy (Butterfly Development, HU), Pedro Aguilera (Federation of Roma Associations in Catalonia, ES), and Adriatik Hasantari (Roma Active Albania, AL) spoke about how the upcoming Social Economy Action Plan and the reinforced Youth Guarantee can be very useful tools to contribute towards reducing the gap between Roma and majority populations, as well as about the importance of including the Western Balkans and Enlargement and Neighbourhood Countries in the learning and exchanges about Roma inclusion in Europe. Cabinet members Ms Faber and Mr Nerlich confirmed Commissioner Nicolas Schmit’s commitment to Roma rights and inclusion and exchanged with ERGO Network members and staff about the best ways to engage with the above-mentioned policy frameworks in order to ensure a strong Roma dimension in Europe’s social and economic development strategies, as well as drew the attention to the key role of EU Funds (including InvestEU and ReactEu) to support these processes. Find the full meeting of the report here.

ERGO Network will continue to push for bringing Roma rights and inclusion much more in focus in the processes of the European Semester and the disbursement of Recovery and Resilience funds, and for better alignment with the priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Pillar of Social Rights. Hopefully the new decade will bring closer alignment between the EU Roma Strategic Framework and these frameworks, to ensure that Europe’s Roma are not left behind, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery.

For more information about our work on the European Semester, please contact Senior Policy Adviser Amana Ferro in the ERGO Network Brussels Secretariat.

Child Guarantee and the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child

ERGO Network response to the European Commission public consultations on the Child Guarantee and the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child 2021-2027

The European Commission will be proposing, in 2021, a Child Guarantee and a Strategy on the Rights of the Child, two instruments specifically designed to improve the lives and wellbeing of children in the European Union.  ERGO Network has been engaging closely with these processes to ensure that the unique situation of Roma children is taken on board. We are also pleased to have become a member of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children, which brings together over 20 European networks sharing a commitment to end child poverty and promote child wellbeing across Europe.

The Child Guarantee is meant to ensure that all children in Europe who are at risk of poverty, social exclusion, or are otherwise disadvantaged, have access to essential services of good quality. ERGO Network strongly welcomes the initiative and gave input to the European Commission consultation on the Roadmap for a Council Recommendation for a Child Guarantee (Download the full input). The Covid-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to invest in proper care services and income support for Roma children and their families.

While the proposed Roadmap for the Child Guarantee identifies several groups of “children in need”, Roma children are not one of them. This is unacceptable, where the Fundamental Rights Agency found that every third Roma child (30%) lives in households where someone went to bed hungry at least once in the previous month, and only about half (53%) of young Roma children are enrolled in early childhood education and care programs. Unless they are explicitly mentioned as target group and specific measures put in place to deal with very specific needs, experience shows that Roma children will once again be left behind.

We equally contributed to the EU Alliance for Investing in Children’s Response to the public consultation on the Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, which calls on EU Member States to develop actions that will protect children (including Roma children) from poverty, as well as support their access to quality early childhood education and care and to equal opportunities.

Additionally, we also prepared an input to the European Commission public consultation on the upcoming EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2021-2024), whose objective is to provide a framework for EU actions to better promote and protect children’s rights, with specific measures and funding.

ERGO Network will continue to work closely on the file to ensure that Roma children’s voices are heard, and that appropriate links will be made, at EU and national level, between initiatives on children’s rights and wellbeing such as those above and the objectives of the EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion, and Participation.