EURoma members coming from the ESF and ERDF Managing Authorities as well as bodies responsible for policies at national level for Roma communities, and other relevant stakeholders gathered in Prague last 11th and 12nd of May in order to work on a guide on how to better use Structural Funds for the social inclusion of Roma at local level. Updates on the EU recent developments and the Czech country monographic were some of the most remarkable issues on the agenda.


This meeting was hosted by the Czech representatives of EURoma and welcoming words were addressed to all participants by Mrs. Ms. Radana Kratochvílová deputy director of the Department for Management of ESF from Czech ESF Managing Authority, Mrs. Andrea Bar¨ová from the Department for Human Rights and Protection of Minorities Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic as well as by Mrs. Gabriela Habravanova from the Office of the Government Council for Roma Minority Issues.

The initial part of the agenda of the meeting was devoted to the guide that is being prepared in order to support the more efficient use of Structural funds for the social inclusion of the Roma communities at local level. Mr. Brian Harvey, a very well known social consultant, presented the first version (see presentation) followed by a round of feedback from relevant stakeholders as EUROCITIES, the Committee of Regions, OSI, EUROma members and local and regional public administrations: the City of Brno (Czech Republic), the Region of Emilia Romagna (Italy), the City of Gabrovo (Bulgaria), the Region of Galicia (Spain), the Region of Braila (Romania), the City of Obrnice (Czech Republic), the City of Tarnabod (Hungary), the Region of Kosice (Slovakia) in order to give their input and make this publication a very practical and useful tool for local administrations when addressing the social integration of the Roma.

The final version of the guide will be published during 2011 in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission and the on-line version will be available in this site.

At European level, the political agenda is moving ahead on the Roma inclusion. Relevant milestones as the EU 2020 Strategy, the EU Framework for National Strategies, the last meeting of the Roma Platform, among other, were presented by Mr. Dominique Be (European Commission – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – ESF Coordination.) and Mrs. Ilona Negro (European Commission – DG Justice. Non-discrimination policies and Roma coordination – Unit D4). Subsequently, Mr. Alexandros Tsolakis (European Commission – DG Regional Policy) gave an overview on the recent advancements in the implementation of urban rehabilitation of disadvantaged areas under the modification of art 7.2 of the ERDF regulation and its implications for the Roma communities. This updated information gave the perfect framework to reflect and analysis how national strategies and national reform programmes can be in line with the European guidelines and especially how can SF support these process in each of the countries.

The Czech Monographic was of great interest to all participants, giving the audience the opportunity to learn the most relevant policies, institutions, networks and bodies, as well as the approaches, initiatives and resources available for the Roma inclusion, with a special look on how the Structural Funds work in the Czech Republic. This panel was opened by Mrs. Gabriela Hrabanova, Head of the Office of the Government council for Roma Minority issues, followed by the presentation by Mr. Martin Simacek, Director of the Agency for Social Inclusion in Roma Localities. How structural funds are implemented in the country was presented by Mr. Robert Jan Hrebicek from the ESF Managing Authority-Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Rostislav Mazl from the Department for Management of Operational Programs – Ministry for Regional Development.

The last part of the session was devoted mainly to agree on the future activities of the network and the dissemination of the position paper agreed by EURoma members last January in order to contribute to the actual debate of the future round of Structural Funds 2014-2020.

EURoma members will meet next October in Hungary.



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