Partners Bulgaria

Promoting EU Strategy for Roma Integration

In April 2011 the European Commission communicated the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, thus committing all Member States to set respective policy instruments or to align existing strategies for Roma integration in accord to the goals of the framework document. It explicitly calls for a targeted and integrated approach, sufficient funding and robust monitoring mechanism to ensure concrete results for Roma integration in four crucial areas, i.e. access to education, employment, healthcare and housing.

In line with the recommendation for close cooperation with civil society organisations, on April 19, 2011 Partners Bulgaria Foundation hosted a round table-discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities related to the development of effective EU Framework on Roma Integration in Bulgaria. The event was organised within the framework of the initiative led by Partners for Democratic Change International to provide an open dialogue between civil society organisations and the state and local authorities regarding the specific dimensions of the issue at national level and the recommendations, which could be addressed to the experts on European level.

The round table provided a platform to discuss current challenges to Roma inclusion in Bulgaria, outlined the opportunities and concrete steps, ensuring effective implementation of the forthcoming national strategy, and drew key messages, reflecting a comprehensive vision for ethnic integration. The event hosted representatives of government and non-government actors, among which the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues, Commission for Protection against Discrimination, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, Social Support Agency, Open Society Institute, Roma Education Fund and various Roma CSOs. The round table was organised with the support of Open Society Institute, Sofia.

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