PECAO peer educators training online and offline

PECAO peer educators training online and offline

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the work we usually do and the way we implement our projects. ERGO Network together with its partners in the framework of the “Peer education to counter antigypsyist hate speech” (PECAO) project adapted to this new situation and moved on with the project implementation.

Peer educators are the most crucial part of PECAO. They receive training to conduct peer education workshops and activities with other young people, as well as monitor and report hate speech online.

Due to the restrictions and health measures in place, ERGO Network and Integro Association combined an online and offline training for the group of 50 peer educators to make the best out of the situation for everyone.

Those who could not travel to Bulgaria had the opportunity to follow an online training course from to 13 August, and those able to travel to Bulgaria had their offline training course in Albena from 10 to 15 August 2020.

Our partner Integro took care of all necessary measures to ensure safety of the participants in the offline training by respecting all protocols when it comes to protection against Covid-19.

During both trainings, the participants could work with and be trained by professionals in the field of addressing hate speech. For example, with Prof. Tomova the participants received information about the impact of stereotypes and prejudices and how media constructs, reinforces and consolidates negative stereotypes and prejudices against Roma. They also worked on content analysis of media products that target Roma.

Throughout the training course, participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge on the topic, and experts such as lawyers Ms. Mihaylova and Mr. Kashamov introduced the international frameworks that protects against hate speech, as well as shared and made comparison with their national legislation.

The training ended with practical exercises of writing complaints and signal against hate speech, as well as understanding the standards of various social networks for countering hate speech online.

As next step, the peer educators and mentors of the PECAO project will start with their peer education and monitoring activities, which are going to last from October 2020 until September 2021. ERGO Network and its partners will keep you updated on the implementation.

For more information, please follow our Facebook page.

Alliance against Antigypsyism statement


European Parliament adopts first-ever Resolution proposing a Roma EU legislation to combat antigypsyism and social exclusion of Roma

Brussels 21 September 2020: The Alliance against Antigypsyism welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies initiated by MEP Romeo Franz (Greens/EFA) demanding for a legislative act for Roma equality, inclusion and participation and for combating antigypsyism, focusing on “fighting against poverty and antigypsyism, improving living and health conditions and combining targeted and mainstream approaches”.

The proposed legislative act intends to include, among other things, a plan to eliminate housing, health, employment and education inequalities, specific objectives to protect and improve the inclusion of Roma people, including those facing multiple discrimination and concrete measures to combat discrimination and segregation both in EU Member States and Enlargement Countries.

ERGO Network Director Gabriela Hrabaňová called the proposal for a Roma Directive “an important recognition of the systematic failure by the EU and governments to address the structural and systemic antigypsyism Roma are facing across the EU and Western Balkans” and a “turning point in the EU’s approach towards Roma”.

”After the recognition of the Holocaust of 500,000 Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe by the European Parliament in 2015, with the resolution now adopted, this Parliament shows once again its determination to condemn and fight the threatening antigypsyism in Europe.”, says Romani Rose, chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.

Michael Privot, Director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), adds that “The resolution and the new EU action plan against racism are different steps on the road towards more equality for all. We now need EU member states to adopt concrete measures and plans against racism, including antigypsyism, at national level.” .

Inter alia, the Resolution:

  • calls for the recognition of antigypsyism as a specific form of racism against Roma, equal access to justice and equality before the law;
  • highlights the need for systematic collection of robust ethnic and gender disaggregated data to inform needs and context analysis, help in setting targets and impact indicators;
  • urges Member States to adopt a holistic approach across all policy areas, to place the education of Romani children high on governments’ agendas and put an end to segregation;
  • calls on the Commission to fulfil its commitment to adopt an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and to incorporate Romani inclusion as an indicator in the Social Scoreboard;
  • urges the Commission and the Member States to ensure access to decent jobs, fair wages and working conditions for Romani people and to guarantee that social protection systems and social services are adequate, accessible and used by all potential beneficiaries, and include universal health coverage without discrimination, as well as minimum income schemes and pension rights;
  • calls on the Member States to adopt urgent measures to address the lack of water, adequate sanitation, electricity and needed infrastructure in poor Romani communities in the light of the Covid-29 crisis;
  • calls on the Member States to fully include Romani settlements in disinfection measures, to prohibit the cancellation of basic utility services during the pandemic, to consider subsidizing consumption costs for the most vulnerable and those who have lost incomes, or freezing payments until the end of the recovery plan period, to provide financial support for lone parents/single mothers for childcare, rent payments and other household expenses to alleviate the financial hardship, especially in light of the job losses;
  • stresses the need to give priority to a gender perspective and gender-sensitive policies and fight violence (including human trafficking);
  • calls on mobilising funding for Romani equality, inclusion and participation under the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and EU Recovery Plan and to adjust the existing mainstream financial mechanisms and make them flexible for blended use of funds in Romani communities by enabling access to information, outreach, capacity building and delivery of technical assistance;
  • demands equal participation of Roma in all domains of public life, political participation, and the language, arts, culture and history by making Romani participation a binding common quality standard for the future framework and National Inclusion Strategies;
  • calls for an inclusive mechanism to ensure the equal participation of Roma and pro-Roma civil society organisations, experts and community members from all levels, taking into account a gender perspective in the policy debate and decision-making.


For further information, contact:

ERGO Network: Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, Executive Director, g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.orgTel: +32(0)2 893 10 49

Central Council of German Sinti and Roma: Jonathan Mack, Policy Officer, jonathan.mack@sintiundroma.deTel: +49 (0) 6221 981101

Notes to the editor:

  1. The ‘Alliance against Antigypsyism’ is a coalition of organisations across Europe that promote equality of rights for Roma and combat antigypsyism on institutional and societal level. The aim of the Alliance is to advance understanding of antigypsyism as a specific form of racism, and to strengthen the political will and institutional mechanisms in order to tackle antigypsyism in Europe. The Alliance is coordinated by the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network, the European Network against Racism (ENAR) and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.
  1. Link to the adopted Resolution:


Join our team! European Solidarity Corps in ERGO Network

Call for European Solidarity Corps placement in ERGO Network

ERGO Network is looking for an enthusiastic and active young Roma who would like to join our office team in Brussels for 12 months in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps.

  • When: September 2020 to August 2021
  • Where: ERGO Network office in Brussels, Belgium
  • Who: Young Roma professional between 18 and 30
  • Deadline for applications: 30 June 2020

During the 12 months in ERGO, you will learn about international advocacy, help us organise international meetings and events and get actively involved in Roma activism and international Roma networks in Brussels.

Your main tasks will be:

  • Communication and visibility: contribute to the update of the ERGO Network and RomaReact websites and social media channels; development of creative approaches and publicity work to promote our activities and mission and a positive image of Roma.
  • Researching and reporting: Assisting ERGO’s research work e.g. on cases of inequality and antigypsyism all over Europe.
  • Advocacy and policy: Support ERGO staff in EU advocacy work on poverty reduction, social inclusion and antigypsyism; attend debates, hearings and meetings with other stakeholders to challenge stereotypes and racism, build partnership with Roma and non-Roma organizations from Belgium and other European countries.
  • Meetings and seminars: Assist in the organisation of meetings, events and international seminars of ERGO Network and its partners, e.g. our Advocacy Academy, Annual Members Meeting etc.

Your profile:

  • Young Roma between 18 and 30 years living in an EU member state or Macedonia or Turkey
  • Good English language skills, both oral and written
  • Computer literacy (experience with Microsoft office package and social media)
  • High motivation to learn more about Roma activism and advocacy work and to contribute to a small but very active European NGO
  • Previous involvement in Roma or (pro) Roma NGOs will be considered an advantage
  • Reliable, well organised and with attention to detail

You will work not more than 38 hours per week, including your language course. Working hours will be from Monday to Friday between 9:00 – 17:00. However, working hours can be adapted to your needs and the activities you will be involved in.

We aim to support young people who are enthusiastic about our cause and want to gain experiences that can be later transferred to national or local NGOs. We especially welcome applications from people who are motivated to challenge stereotypes, antigypsyism and racism and who show an open attitude for a unique learning and life experience, as well as a volunteer spirit of creativity, initiative, responsibility and independence.

We offer:

  • An allowance of 1049 Euro that includes money for accommodation, meals, local transport, language course and pocket money
  • Travel costs to Brussels (a lump sum depending on the distance to Brussels)
  • Health insurance for the whole year
  • On-arrival training with other Solidarity Corps volunteers, and lots of learning and development opportunities with ERGO Network and our partners
  • An exciting and unforgettable experience, working for an international organisation in an international city!

How to apply:

Please send your motivation letter (1 page) and CV (max 2 pages) by 30th June 2020 to

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Mustafa Jakupov:


Post 2020 EU Framework must be top priority in Covid-19 response

Appeal to the European Commission and the European Council to make the post-2020 EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality and Inclusion a top priority in its Covid-19 response

Download the pdf version.


April 22, 2020

Honorable President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen

Honorable President of the European Council, Mr Charles Michel

On behalf of the European coalition of Roma and pro-Roma organizations, we call on the European Commission and the European Council to prioritise fundamental rights and the protection of the most vulnerable when redefining the EU agenda in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, we urge EU leaders to address the following three priorities in order to ensure the equal treatment, safety, well-being and equality of Roma communities and thereby contribute to ameliorating the pandemic situation for all Europeans:

  1. An immediate European humanitarian response should coordinate and allocate sufficient resources to all vulnerable groups, in particular marginalized Roma communities and all racialized minorities, making sure they are reached in all Member States and enlargement countries.
  2. The European Covid-19 Recovery Plan should fully take into account the needs of vulnerable Roma communities, and define them as a priority group in all mainstream policies and measures, including in economic aid and recovery, social protection, health care, housing, education and employment.
  3. A post-2020 “EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Social and Economic Justice and Combating Antigypsyism” must constitute a top priority in the Covid-19 response of the EU, Member States and Enlargement countries in order to comprehensively address the structural exclusion, inequality and vulnerability of Roma communities, that was dramatically exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Post-2020 European Roma Coalition signals its concerns about the negative consequences of a possible delay of human and minority rights initiatives, including the post-2020 EU Roma Strategic Framework, due to COVID-19. Such a delay will have a tremendously negative effect on the human rights and protection of vulnerable groups such as Roma. The Coalition calls on the European Commission and Council not to risk the safety, well-being and equality of 12 million Roma in the European Union and Enlargement Countries in a hasty decision to save resources.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, under the social distancing and public health measures, many Roma working in the informal sector lost their sources of daily income (such as working in private fields, collecting and selling scrap metal, small traders, market sellers; those working in the arts and culture, as musicians, cultural producers, artisans etc.). Rampant antigypsyism, including hate speech by the media and racist violence against Roma is increasing rapidly in many Member States and Enlargement Countries, particularly in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. In addition, measures of confinement are being applied disproportionately by some authorities, who argue that Roma communities are responsible for spreading the virus more rapidly,  (e.g., in Bulgaria and Romania mayors organised checkpoints to control the movement from and to Roma neighbourhoods, including by sealing checkpoints with concrete in Kazanluk, Bulgaria to make the neighbourhood accessible only through the checkpoints).

There is a real danger that, as we move globally deeper into an imminent economic and humanitarian crisis, the needs and concerns of minority groups will be overlooked by governments. European and international efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate its long-term economic and social consequences should start with addressing racial inequalities and achieve social justice for all.

Now more than ever, Europe needs a prompt, robust and binding post-2020 EU Roma Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Combating Antigypsyism that prioritises minimum adequate standards, targets and indicators in the areas of education, employment, health, social protection, housing and fighting antigypsyism, and that includes equally Enlargement and Neighborhood Countries to guarantee a level playing field in the access to basic rights and services. A delay in the adoption of the EU Roma Strategy because of the Covid-19 pandemic is not justified, since social inequalities and racism against Roma to date are now impacting disproportionately on Roma who live in squalid conditions, without running water, without income and food supplies, and at a much higher risk of infection and spread of the coronavirus. Prioritising the EU Roma Strategy is not only a moral and human rights duty towards Roma, it is also the right way to contain and minimise the impact of the pandemic for millions more citizens and residents that need EU support to push their Member States and Enlargement Countries to take action. [Follow the CSO response on the Roadmap] Moreover, delaying the adoption of the EU Roma initiative creates a risk that the future European framework as well as the consequent national Roma inclusion strategies will not be adequately integrated into the designing and implementation of the new cohesion policy or the post-crisis recovery policy.

The post-2020 European Roma Coalition with the support of

Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU)

European Network Against Racism (ENAR)

European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF)

European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network

European Roma Information Office (ERIO)

European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC)

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC)

Fundacion Secretariado Gitano (FSG)

International Roma Youth Network, TernYpe

Phiren Amenca International Network

Roma Active Albania (RAA)

Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDI)

Romani Week 2020 – POSTPONED

Romani Week – Romno Kurko 2020

The following event is postponed due to the Corona virus outbreak, most likely to June.


This year’s Romani Week in the European Parliament will take place from 23-26 March and will include a large range of events, from the annual Breakfast with Members of the European Parliament and young Romani, to discussions on making EU funds and financial instruments work for
Roma, the presentation of a report on environmental injustice and many more.

The Romani Week is hosted by several MEPs and co-organised by the European Parliament, the European Commission and Roma civil society.