DG JUST widens dialogue with civil society

DG JUST widens dialogue with Roma civil society and anti-racism civil society organisations

In its intention to ensure a greater transparency and inclusion of wider Roma and pro-Roma civil society organisations at national level in implementing the EU Roma Roma Framework on  equality, inclusion and participation, the European Commission launched a call for expression of interest to NGOs in supporting the work at European Union level and their readiness to participate in consultation processes. All CSOs who expressed their interest will be informed regularly about important policy developments. Moreover, according to the experience and knowledge of the organisations, based on the information provided in the expression of interest, the Commission services will determine the list of CSOs and/or alliances of CSOs who will be invited to contribute to consultation processes, in particular on the monitoring of the implementation of the Roma policies at EU level. All expressions of interest by the 22 June 2021 will be carefully reviewed based on outreach capacity, work topics, expertise, size and type of CSO as well as the following criteria:

  •  independent status and legal registration in the EU, featuring a democratic decision-making mechanism as well as a mission and values aligned with those of the European Commission;
  •  proven expertise of at least 3 years in one or more of the following: policy, research, advocacy work concerning Roma equality, inclusion and participation, as well as legitimacy of the CSO’s representations (community ties, accountability to beneficiaries and/or members);
  •   respect for pluralism of opinion, tolerance and personal integrity of the representatives is mandatory;
  •   good working knowledge of English as this is the working language of CSO consultation meetings; and
  •   demonstrated ability to engage in constructive dialogue with other governmental and/or non-governmental organizations is highly valued.

In addition, the applicants have to be registered in the EU Transparency registry, proving their legal constitution, including proof of grant of legal personality, evidence of internal rules procedure, audited financial statement for the last 2 years or any other official document demonstrating the annual income; annual activity reports for the last 2 years or any other published reports or research as evidence of Roma-relevant work; and CV(s) of the CSO representative(s).

For the above mentioned call more information can be found  here.

A similar call has been launched for anti-racism civil society organisations or the implementation of the EU Anti-racism action plan with a small difference in that there is no minimum limit on the years of proven expertise in the case of antiracism CSOs and that in their case they should have worked on at least one or more of the following: policy, research, advocacy work concerning racial and ethnic equality and anti-racism; and in at least one or more of the following thematic areas: racial justice, equality, reparations and decolonisation, anti-migrant racism.

More information about the anti-racism CSO call can be found here.

Different than in the case of Roma organisations, antiracism CSOs fear that this mechanism could restrict access of more radical NGOs, including pro-Muslim associations which have been banned or accused of inciting to hatred, for being vocal against Islamophobia, particularly in France, under the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron. With a growing victimization of human rights defenders and NGOs, EU institutions should ensure depolitization of antiracism civil society work and build further trust and cooperation with antiracism NGOs.

For more information about ERGO Network’s work on anti racism contact Isabela Mihalache , Senior Policy Adviser in the ERGO Network Brussels team.