Roma inclusion working group

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This working group (WG) is committed to fight discrimination and exploitation, and foster the inclusion of Europe's biggest minority – Roma community. The cities part of the WG are exchanging good practices and sharing experiences regarding the integration policies at local level. The focus of the group is to actively involve and raise awareness on the important role of cities in the EU framework and national Roma inclusion strategies.


In 2020, the working group will focus on the following objectives:

1. Capacity building of cities on fighting and preventing school dropout of Roma children, contributing to the SAF strategy's priority 'a good start in life for all children and young peope'
How do we want to achieve it?
- Organise a policy transfer or critical friend review in Turin (spring) on local strategies for fighting and preventing schhol dropout of Roma children
- Develop policy guidelines on fighting and preventing school dropout of Roma children
- Draft action plans for 5 replicating cities which commit to work on this issue
 
2. Capacity building of cities on inclusion of foreign Roma and strengthening self-organisation through community building, thus contributing to the SAF strategy priority ‘diversity, social cohesion and integration of refugees and migrants’.
How do we want to achieve it?
- Organise a working group meeting in Berlin (autumn) on inclusion of foreign Roma and strengthening self-organisation through community building. Review outcomes of the Berlin Roma Inclusion Action Plan including the
external evaluation methodology.
 
3. Policy & advocacy towards the new Commission and upcoming legislations
How do we want to achieve it?
- Advocate for Roma strategy post-2020, in line with the needs from cities to foster Roma inclusion at local level, in coordination with other European networks involved on Roma inclusion
- Advocate for support to local measures for Roma inclusion under new antidiscrimination legislation
- Work towards establishing relations with the new European Commission and the recently elected European Parliament
- Continue our collaboration with the FRA, OHCHR, Council of Europe and European Commission and DG JUST on Roma inclusion
- Report on Braga’s progress in its local action plan for Roma inclusion as a follow-up to the critical friend review of September 2019
 
These objectives contribute to the following EUROCITIES strategic objectives:
1.1 Fight urban poverty and social exclusion
1.2 Ensure access to adequate and affordable housing
1.3 Facilitate the inclusion of refugees, migrants, ethnic minorities and people
1.4 Ensure quality and inclusive education
 
Main achievements from 2019:
1. Increasing capacities of cities on housing support for the Roma community. This was the focus of the policy transfer organised in Toulouse where 35 city officers from 15 European cities discussed with local policy-makers, beneficiaries and practitioners to discover how to transfer some inspiring practices from Toulouse’s policy to support Roma to move out of camps into adequate housing in the city. By combining housing solutions and integrated social support, the city developed an innovative approach. Four transfer cities had the opportunity to draft action plans on their own local challenged related to housing of the Roma community and already took follow-up actions. City experts also produced guidelines to help moving Roma people out of camps into adequate housing.
 
2. The WG continued to grow in terms of active members in 2019 and improved its geographical representation in meeting, especially by inviting local experts from North Macedonia during the critical fried review in Braga. This meeting gathered on 24-26 September 22 local experts from 12 cities to discover the city’s Integrated Plan of Action for Disadvantaged Communities and their action on 3 social neighbourhoods. The critical friend review grave Braga the opportunity to reflect on future actions jointly drafted with other cities to scale up their local strategy into a new neighbourhood. Guidelines on integrated city plans are being drafted to further transfer the knowledge acquired during the meeting.
 
3. EUROCITIES was involved with key European stakeholders to promote the role and views of cities. A presentation of good practices was held at the Council of Europe and we intervened in different meeting on the future EU Roma strategy, including during Eurodiaconia hearing and stakeholders’ coordination meetings. EUROCITIES contribution to the EU Roma framework post-2020 also served as a basis for discussions and meeting with the European Commission and in particular DG JUST. Cities commitment to including Roma people was also represented in EUROCITIES campaign on city pledges to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, in particular with 7 cities committed to the implementation of principle 3 on equal opportunities.

chair

Gordon Smith
Glasgow

EUROCITIES staff contact

Solene Molard
EUROCITIES Brussels office
Policy support officer