Who we are
ERGO Network is a young and dynamic organisation established in 2008 by a small group of NGOs who shared the observation that everyday realities of Roma communities were hardly taken into account in policy development and implementation. Today our network brings together more than 30 Roma and pro-Roma organisation from all over Europe. Founded on the philosophy of active citizenship, shared responsibility and grassroots empowerment, ERGO Network members aim to convince policy makers that positive change for Roma is possible when antigypsyism is recognized and tackled as the root cause for inequality and exclusion and when Roma can take part in civic life as equal stakeholders.
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To achieve this, we bridge the gap between grassroots realities and policy-making. We advocate for better policies and policy implementation on national and European level, organise public campaigns, build the capacity of Roma activists and provide spaces for networking and mutual learning.
Through civic mobilization from grassroots to European level, Roma achieve equality, social and political participation in all spheres of life in all European societies and are able to live a decent life free from antigypsyism, poverty and social exclusion.
ERGO Network mobilizes and connects grassroots, national and international organisations and individuals who share a set of core values to create the courage, capacity and opportunities to:
- – Combat antigypsyism and Roma poverty;
- – Strengthen Roma civil society participation in decision-making at grassroots, national and European level;
- – Commit governments and European institutions to effective social inclusion and anti-discrimination policies, standards and funds for Roma.
ERGO Network champions adherence to democratic values of diversity, solidarity intersectionality, dialogue, equality, justice and inclusion.
We emphasise the realization of equality of rights, including the right to dignity and opportunity to define one’s own identity.
Our guiding principle is that achieving equality, social and political participation for Roma is a shared responsibility of majority populations and Roma.
We promote a culture of self-determination and active participation in the public domain. We resist paternalism and tokenism and encourage critical reflection and an assertive attitude.
To ensure that our members can focus fully on empowering Roma communities, ERGO Network asks for very low membership fees and therefore relies on external funding.
Our main donor is the European Commission through an EaSI operating grant of DG Employment. We also receive project funding from the EU’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme for the projects PECAO and Chachipen and from the IPA Programme for Romani Women – Power of Change. ERGO Network furthermore currently receives funding from the EEA and Norway Grants for Regional Cooperation for the project “New Solutions to Old Problems“, from Google.Org for PECAO and from the German Federal Foreign Office for our advocacy around the EU Roma Strategic Framework.