Clear all

8 results found

reorder grid_view

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategyon the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Romania

June 6, 2013

After a decade of attempts to deal with the problems faced by Roma, the Romanian government prepared a new policy document in the broader context of the European Commission (EC) Communication in April 2011, regarding the elaboration/adoption of National Roma Inclusion Strategies by member states. The new policy "The Strategy of the Government of Romania for the Inclusion of Romanian Citizens Belonging to the Roma Minority for the Period 2012-2020" (the National Roma Inclusion Strategy -- NRIS) replaces previous Roma policy documents adopted in 2001 and revised in 2006 (and which expired in 2011). Romania was among the first to sign the Decade of Roma Inclusion documents and also held its first Presidency, but in spite of these commitments, the Romanian government has never adopted a Decade Action Plan. In 2006, the Romanian government issued government decision no. 870/2006, which established the standard quality requirements for government strategies. In our analysis, the NRIS does not meet these requirements, generating significant difficulties for its implementation and monitoring.An action plan also needs to comply with certain standards of a policy document. A simple review of the NRIS action plan proves that it does not live up to these basic standards. Moreover, the NRIS falls short of the European Union's requirements, as outlined in the EC Communication (April 2011). The NRIS's elaboration was a rather superficial process. Very few suggestions and comments formulated by a large group of NGOs were considered and can be found in the final version of the NRIS adopted by the Government in December 2011. In 2009, the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of Social and Demographic Risks proposed a new approach to tackling Roma issues, reflected in "a genuine and constant political approach to the challenges of ensuring equal opportunity policies for the Roma minority". This recommendation is marginally reflected in the text of the current NRIS, and it remains a goal to be achieved considering the limited political capacity of the Roma community to act as a strong and reliable partner of public bodies.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Albania

May 31, 2013

Albania signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) 2006 and it is also actively participating in the political and economic dialogue to present its application to become a member of the European Union. Pre-accession financial assistance is provided to Albania by the EU, focusing on Justice and Home Affairs, Public Administration Reform, Transport, Environment and Climate Change, Social Development, and Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition, Albania participates in the EU cross-border programmes and Albanian civil society received financial support from the EU in the fields of justice, protection of vulnerable groups (disadvantaged women, children and the elderly, and minority groups) and environmental protection.Roma communities are considered the most vulnerable minority group in Albania, facing widespread poverty, socio-economic marginalization and frequent discrimination, particularly regarding access to education, social protection, health, employment and adequate housing. Roma are not recognized publicly as a distinct minority and they have the status of an ethno-linguistic minority. Regardless the Albania Constitution addresses all the basic principles of human and minority rights. Albania is also part of the main international treaties concerning human and minority rights.Albania does not have a National Roma Integrated Strategy. However, several policy measures in favor of Roma Social Inclusion were undertaken by the Albanian Government. The National Strategy for the Improvement of Roma Living Conditions 2003-2013 was adopted in 2003 followed by the Decade Action Plan 2010-2015. The Roma Strategy addresses several broad fields such as education and training, cultural heritage and family, employment, poverty and social protection, health and housing, as well as public order, justice and civil administration. Nevertheless, its implementation was criticized for being slow, due to insufficient human and financial resources, inadequate institutional coordination at the national and local level, and deficiencies in the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.Through the present report, the Albanian civil society coalition established for this purpose, aimed to assess national policy developments, evaluate the local impact of flagship initiative that promote Roma integration, explain through case studies why and to what extent certain government measures have been successful or not, and formulate recommendations on how to improve the implementation of above strategic documents.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Macedonia

May 31, 2013

Although the 2004 Strategy for Roma in the Republic of Macedonia remained relevant in 2012 as a broad framework for policy aimed at improving the situation of the country's Romani population, implementation faltered in 2012, even under the Macedonian presidency of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. The findings of a review of implementation of the national action plans for education, employment, health, and housing conducted in mid-2012 were not applied, with none of the action plans replaced or updated since expiring at the end of 2011. Coordination at central level and between central and local levels remained a problem, as did the availability of relevant data on and funding for the implementation of initiatives for Roma at both central and local levels. While successful programmes established in previous years were generally continued and a promising Romani health mediation programme was introduced, clear signs of a government commitment to sustaining and expanding all relevant programmes to meet outstanding needs were lacking.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Slovakia

May 31, 2013

This civil society monitoring report critically assesses policy developments relevant for the implementation of the Revised National Action Plan of the Decade of Roma Inclusion for 2011-2015 adopted by the Slovak Government in 2011 (Revised Action Plan) and the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Integration of Roma until 2020 (NRIS) approved in January 2012. We focus on the monitoring period commencing with the adoption of the Revised Action Plan in August 2011 until March 2013. Where necessary, we have included policy development prior to the reporting period.The report is based on a data set and information gathered through desk research, information requests directed to the relevant agencies and interviews with public officials, including mayors, and NGOs. In addition, we have prepared case studies of five policies to assess the impact of key flagship policies on the ground: Individual integration in education, activation works, municipal firms, Roma health mediators and the programme of lower-standard housing. The cases studies draw on desk research complemented with qualitative empirical research in four localities in eastern and central Slovakia.The report finds that the implementation of NRIS and Revised Action Plan greatly suffered from administrative and personal changes brought by the early parliamentary elections in March 2012. Both documents were prepared by the previous administration. The incumbent high ranking officials including the newly appointed Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities (GPRC), Peter Pollák, have made no statements suggesting their solid support for these policies. We have seen, for instance, no palpable progress in ensuring sustainable budgetary commitments to the implementation of the Revised Action Plan and the NRIS. Instead, Pollák has introduced principles of the so-called "Roma Reform -- the Right Way" ("Rómska Reforma -- Správna Cesta"). The reform proposal that is in many ways discriminatory is based on the enforcement of a desired behaviour under the threat of sanctions. This principle is in a dire conflict with the NRIS.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: the Czech Republic

May 31, 2013

The situation of the Roma minority is one of the Czech Republic's most urgent social and human rights problems. The Czech Republic seeks to address this complex problem with a wide range of activities. The overall direction of the Czech Republic's integration policy is defined in two strategic documents: the Concept for Roma Integration 2010-2013 and the Strategy for Combating Social Exclusion 2011-2015. The former document has at the same time the status of the Czech Republic's National Strategy for Roma Inclusion (NSRI), as it was translated and sent to Brussels in response to the European Commission's request to all member states to develop national strategies for Roma inclusion. Initiated by the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation and written by a coalition of Czech non-governmental organisations (NGOs), this report is intended to provide an independent assessment of the Czech Republic's progress in achieving the goal of Roma inclusion as defined in the Concept for Roma Integration/Czech NSRI. Focussing on six topics: education, employment, health, housing, anti discrimination, and structural requirements, the European Commission provided the member states with feedback on their strategies and made recommendations as to how the strategies could be improved. With a view to providing additional feedback from the perspective of civic society organisations, the Decade Secretariat decided that the independent civic society reports would focus on the same topics.Due to this decision, this report does not cover all the dimensions of Roma integration that are covered by the Czech Concept for Roma Integration, which also includes chapters on the support of Roma identity and culture. However, the decision to limit this report to the social, economic and legal aspects of Roma integration should in no way be interpreted as a disregard for questions related to Roma identity and empowerment. On the contrary, the authors demonstrate throughout the report how the hitherto applied integration strategies fail to give the Roma communities a chance to participate actively in the process of integration. One of the most important challenges for the coming years will be to develop funding mechanisms that will be more accessible for Roma and to introduce better mechanisms for the participation of Roma in decision-making. The first part of this summary follows the report's thematic structure. In the case of each of the six thematic chapters a few key messages will be highlighted. The full text of this report provides more comprehensive information on particular policies and programmes. The second part of this summary has been used to draw attention to three particular cross-sectoral challenges which have surfaced in many of the thematic chapters.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Bulgaria

May 27, 2013

The present civil society monitoring report aims to provide thorough information and explanations about major challenges and obstacles with regard to the Decade of Roma Inclusion and the National Roma Integration Strategy in Bulgaria, as implemented by the Bulgarian government, along with recommendations. A specially designed research project was conducted in the period November -- December 2012, in all neighbourhoods with predominantly Roma populations in Bulgaria. The sample for the study comprised 1000 households, equal to 100 clusters with 10 respondents in each cluster. The data-base was used for simple random sampling of segregated neighbourhoods, weighted by population size. The quantitative study was complemented by the work of eight focus groups consisting of Roma end beneficiaries in the following localities: Petrich, Sofia, Hayredin, Kuklen, Stara Zagora, Razgrad and Veliko Tarnovo. Bulgaria's achievements in implementing its commitment of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and the recently adopted National Roma Integration Strategy have been widely debated; however there has been no significant progress in the relevant priority areas related to Roma integration into mainstream society in Bulgaria. The main conclusion of the present report is that the NRIS lacks synergy, coherence and equal distribution in its envisaged activities, measures and financial allocations. It overlooks major areas such as housing conditions, health care and educational integration. In order to accomplish the measures outlined in the NRIS, the Bulgarian government should provide adequate structural provisions by combining consistent political will with a suitable legislative framework, expertise, knowledge, sensibility, flexibility and appropriate financial resources. Furthermore, these provisions should be based on the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, partnership, efficiency and effectiveness, all aimed at achieving measurable, long term impact.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Hungary

May 27, 2013

In autumn 2012, the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation commissioned the Hungarian Civil Consortium to review the first year of the implementation of the National Social Inclusion Strategy of Hungary (hereinafter referred to as NRIS1or the Strategy), with a special focus on the actions and policies targeting Roma inclusion. All the findings are based on interviews, document reviews and citizen consultations that served as a forum for Roma and pro-Roma NGOs, municipalities and representatives of Roma self-governments.The Hungarian Strategy targets several vulnerable groups, for example children, people living in less developed regions and also Roma. Thus, it follows the "explicit but not exclusive targeting" principle, congruent with the 10 Common Basic Principles of Roma Inclusion. Nevertheless, the lack of a very clear Roma focus may pose challenges to a successful and robust policy-making, while various interventions in sectoral policies (for example, change of legislation, launching of programmes, etc.) and partial interventions launched in parallel may further weaken the efforts made in favour of Roma inclusion and the Strategy's implementation.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Spain

May 27, 2013

The present report emphasises the significant advances that have been taking place in Spain since the late 1970s in terms of improving living conditions and promoting the social inclusion of Roma, a process facilitated by democratisation and the mobilisation of large sectors of civil society in favour of Roma inclusion, an expansive labour market from the late 1990s -- which was built on labour intensive economic sectors and incorporated a significant number of Roma in remunerated employment, and the universalisation of the welfare State, which was generally inclusive of Roma. Universal and free health care has significantly improved the health status of Roma; minimum income schemes have prevented extreme material deprivation among many Roma; the access of many Romani families to social housing in desegregated urban contexts have contributed to reducing (although not eliminating) ethnic concentration and territorial marginalisation; and education has been increasingly inclusive of Romani children.However, the processes of social inclusion and the improvement of living conditions among Roma, in spite of a decline in traditional economic activities, persistent poverty for a certain segment of the Roma population and racial discrimination in all social fields, are at risk and could come to a standstill with the onset of the crisis and its aggravation in the past five years. Moreover, the policy responses to the crisis could lead to a deceleration and even a reversal of decades-long processes of Roma inclusion. It is worth noting that the economic crisis and the policy responses seem to affect to a larger extent the most vulnerable sectors of Spanish society, including Roma.The report thus highlights the complicated national social, economic and political context in which the Spanish National Roma Integration Strategy (NRIS) was adopted. The Spanish NRIS is highly valued as a strategic policy document, which aims to tackle comprehensively the disadvantages of the Romani community through an integrated approach, delineates adequate instruments and co-ordination mechanisms to achieve further advances in Roma inclusion, and allows public authorities to measure progress through well-defined qualitative and quantitative indicators. Nevertheless, it must be emphasised that the NRIS was adopted in the midst of deepening economic crisis, which is leading to significant budget cuts, especially in public health care and education as well as minimum income schemes, which are strategic areas of Roma inclusion. On its side, the fight against discrimination has been subsumed under the overarching objective of generating employment and achieving a more flexible labour market, which further excludes 'non-competitive' Romani workers from a shrinking job pool, as manifested by a threefold rise in unemployment rates among Roma since 2008. Welfare cuts and the crisis of the labour market have generated a manifest degradation of living conditions among many Romani families since 2008. It seems that the austerity measures could cause the apparent postponement of the implementation of the NRIS, as there is no indication that new public investments have been approved as a direct result of the adoption of the Strategy. The crisis and austerity could therefore be considered as the underlying structural determinants of present and future Roma inclusion processes, and could condition negatively the NRIS's implementation and its potential to improve Roma living conditions in the coming years.