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May 16, 2022



Norway Grants to fund two advisors on Romani issues in Czech town - one Czech, the other Romani

24.9.2021 6:47

The town hall in Tábor, Czech Republic will be hiring two advisors on Romani issues to concentrate on possible problems in coexistence among local residents. Relationships between the majority society and the Romani minority are an example of what they will work on.

Each of the advisors will represent a different ethnicity. Representatives of the town leadership informed journalists of the decision on 17 September.

An advisor on Romani issues is an institution used elsewhere in South Bohemia, for example, in České Budějovice. The Regional Authority of South Bohemia is establishing the position of a Romani Coordinator as well.  

For now, the minimum time it is assumed the project will last is until April 2024. It will cost approximately CZK 2.5 million [EUR 98 500] and 85 % of it will be covered by Norway Grants. 

Both advisors will be employees of the local authority and will work in the mayor's office. The project guarantees sustainability until 2026.

"Of course, that doesn't mean [the advisor positions] can't continue even after that," said Martin Nešuta, who works for the mayor's office. Martin Mareda (Pirates), Tábor's vice-mayor, said that: "In my 20 years of work in social services I know that success always depends on two things. Those are the atmosphere for work and the collaboration among all the participating stakeholders. In my opinion, this project creates such conditions and fulfills them." 

The town recently addressed the issue of so-called children's gangs, for example. Members of such gangs, according to eyewitnesses, were assaulting passers-by in some locations in the town and even committing robbery.

Last year the town hall began making use of crime prevention assistants to aid municipal police patrol officers. The new project for the advisors on Romani issues has been called "All in this together" by the town.

"That symbolizes the attempt by the town leadership to create harmonious conditions for coexistence and to concentrate on any eventual points of contention between the majority society and the minority. The advisors will analyze possible problems for us, actively seeking them out, and mainly they will collaborate with a portfolio of organizations to find a solution," said the representative of the mayor's office.  

Problems, according to the mayor's office, may arise, for example, around the questions of bullying in the schools or receiving social benefits. "However, right now it actually is not possible to exactly specify, in advance, what will be," the representative said. 

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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