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Improving the impact on Roma discussed in Budapest

Sofia, 4.3.2010 10:12, (Amalipe)

How to improve the impact of policies, programs and projects aimed at social inclusion of Roma was the main topic of a conference organized by European Roma Rights Center and Roma Education fund in Budapest on March 1. Tens of participants: high-level officials from European Commission (DG Employment and DG Regional Development), governmental officials, independent researchers and Roma NGO activists from 18 European countries took part in it. They discussed the first draft of the report “Activities to Improve the Impact of Policies, Programs and Projects Aimed at the Social Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination of Roma in the EU” prepared by ERRC and REF and commissioned by the European Commission.

The participants split into three groups: Favorable policy conditions, Successful funding programs and Successful project models. They raised numerous suggestions for strengthening the draft report: both in some details and in its general massages. They encouraged the authors to require a transition from short-term particular projects to sustainable complex policies. In a week all recommendations could be sent in written form to ERRC and REF.

Bulgaria was represented by Bahtiar Karaahmed (Ministry of Helth), Krassimir Kanev (researcher within the report preparation), Rumian Russinov (who did presentation in stead of one of the report co-author Elena Marushiakova) and Deyan Kolev (Center Amalipe). In his presentation Rumian Russinov explained that change in the massage is necessary: from “Roma need help” to “Roma are potential for development”. Deyan Kolev suggested the authors to prepare short high-level synthesis at the end of the report: 10 concrete steps for improving the impact of projects aimed at Roma and converting them into real sustainable Roma policy. This high-level synthesis is difficult but necessary since it is the only way to make the report a real advocacy tool, explained Kolev.

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