Roma Civil Monitor: the third cycle

Roma Civil Monitor partners gather at the Central European University to define the topics of the third round of civil society monitoring reports

Image credit CEU / Andras Dimeny (kepszerk.hu)

The year 2020 will mark the final year of the current EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, within which Member States have developed their own national targeted policies for Roma or ‘sets of policy measures’. Since 2012 the Commission has been reporting annually on the implementation by the Member States and since 2016 the Member States have been reporting to the European Commission. Civil society efforts to produce reports about the implementation from their perspective were intensified in 2017 when the Commission funded the Roma Civil Monitor project.

The project involves about 90 civil society organizations and experts from all EU Member States (with the exception of Malta) as well as four NGOs with experience working internationally on Roma-related issues, including ERGO Network.

Monitoring reports are available for the first cycle, which investigated how the Member State strategies combat antigypsyism and discrimination, governance and, for the countries with the largest Roma communities, the impact of mainstream education policy on Roma. The findings of the second cycle are also now available. During this cycle, the reporting in all countries focused on education, employment, healthcare and housing.

This year in September representatives of the Roma civil society coalitions met at Central European University in Budapest to discuss which topics they are hoping to address in the third cycle reports. This time the focus will be on what has been missing from the implementation or from the strategies themselves, so the content will vary from country to country.

Some of the topics discussed were the following: Antigypsyism in policymaking; Ensuring Roma inclusiveness in mainstream programmes; Integrated approaches for Roma inclusion; Civil society, empowerment and participation; Social services, fighting homelessness, substance abuse; Youth, children protection and rights, parenting skills, 0-3 care and many other topics. ERGO Network’s advocacy and research coordinator together with colleagues from the Center for Policy Studies lead the workshop on combating antigypsyism and targeting mainstream. Many participants found the topic relevant and identified specific problems that they intend to address in their national context. The next step is both assisting the CSOs and experts in the preparation and the actual preparation of the third cycle reports.

We expect that the publication of the third cycle shadow reports will describe to what extent the situation has developed and where the biggest “blind sports” are, which would be one of the tools and resources used in the process of creation of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework.

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

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

Roma Civil Monitor Workshop in Brussels

From 18-19 September, 21 representatives of (pro) Roma NGOs met in Brussels to start their involvement in the Roma Civil Monitor, a project building the capacity of Roma civil society and strengthening their systematic involvement in the monitoring of national Roma integration strategies.

The pilot project as a whole involves 91 NGOs from 27 EU Member States and is coordinated by the Central European University together with ERGO Network, the European Roma Rights Centre, Roma Education Fund and Fundacion Secretariado Gitano. ERGO Network supports organisations from Ireland, the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium in their monitoring work.

The workshop started with an introduction into the pilot project by ERGO’s Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova. Dora Husz (DG Justice) then explained how civil society monitoring fits in the ‘bigger picture’ of the monitoring of NRIS and the mid-term evaluation of the EU Roma Framework by the European Commission.  In the first year of the project, the NGOs will monitor policy implementation in the areas of governance, anti-discrimination and addressing antigypsyism; thematic sessions on each of these policy fields were held by the experts Adam Kullmann (CEU), Bernard Rorke (ERRC) and Gwendolyn Albert.  The workshops finished with discussing practical details for the next months and starting the cooperation between NGOs from the same country.

The first synthesis monitoring report will be published in spring 2018.

ERGO Network is partner in Roma Civil Monitor project

ERGO Network is partner in Roma Civil Monitor project

During the next three years, ERGO Network together with Central European University’s Centre for Policy Studies, the European Roma Rights Centre, Roma Education Fund and Fundacion Secretariado Gitano will coordinate a large-scale project with the aim to strengthen the monitoring mechanisms of the implementation of national Roma integration strategies. The project “Roma Civil Monitor” is managed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers. Based on the applications received and the assessment of eligibility and selection criteria, close to 90 NGOs from 21 member states of the EU can be involved, including all member states with larger Roma communities.

The NGOs will be supported to develop their policy monitoring capacities and to prepare high-quality, comprehensive annual civil society monitoring reports focusing on different parts of the integration strategies.

In 2017, civil society monitoring will focus on structural preconditions for the effective implementation of national Roma integration strategies: governance, anti-discrimination and addressing antigypsyism. Findings of the assessment are expected to be channelled in the mid-term assessment of the EU Roma Framework. In 2018, the assessment will focus on sectoral policies in education, employment, health care and housing.

The first activity of the project is the organization of capacity building workshops. For 5 countries, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, workshops will be organized in late June, early July. For other countries, workshops will be organized in September.

In order to broaden the coverage of the projects, involvement of further NGOs is foreseen from countries with few NGOs (e.g. France) or no NGOs (Poland, Finland, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg).

Updates on the project will be regularly shared on the project websitewww.romacivilmonitor.eu.