MINELRES: Fwd: National meeting of Roma organizations in Bulgaria

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Dec 29 12:36:02 2008

Original sender: Roma Virtual Network <romale@zahav.net.il>

It is necessary to go ahead from planning integration to experiencing
real actions for Roma integration. This should happen through normative
and financial back-up of the integration policy and through broader
decentralization in order to include municipalities, civils society
organizations and Roma community in the process. 
These were the main conclusions from the National meeting of Roma NGOs
and NGOs working for Roma integration “Strategies for our common
future”. It took place on December 9 in Sofia. The forum brought
together more than 100 participants all over the country that made it
the biggest Roma NGO meeting for the past decade. It was initiated by a
broad group of Roma activists, representatives of some of the most
active Roma organizations in Bulgaria: Deyan Kolev (Center “Amalipe”),
Lilia Makaveeva (Integro Association), Dimitar Georgiev (Human Rights
Project), Nikolay Kirilov (Roma – Lom Foundation), Milen Milanov
(Diverse and Equal Association), Gancho Iliev (World without bordesr
Association) and Sasho Kovachev (National Association of Roma working in
Public Administration). The meeting was logistically organized by Center
“Amalipe” with the support of MATRA KAP program of the Embassy of the
Netherlands. Media partner was Drom dromendar Newspaper. 
The meeting was opened by Mr. Willem van Ee, Ambassador of the
Netherlands. He overdrew that social inclusion and human rights are EU
pillars. Roma are the biggest minority in EU and EU engages itself more
and more with the process of Roma integration without replacing the role
of the member-states in this process. Most probably the European Council
will adopt a declaration for improving the situation of Roma in Europe
during its session on December 11-12 said Ambassador van Ee. The
participants were also welcomed by Mr. Baki Hyuseinov – National
Coordinator of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, and by Mr. Miroslav Popov,
Deputy Chair of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and
Demographic Issues. 
After intensive discussions the participants approved Declaration for
real actions for Roma integration. Through it they require Bulgarian
Parliament to adopt strategic document that define the basic principles
of the policy for Roma integration; the Council of Ministers to adopt
operative Action Plan and this document to be backed-up with financing
from the state budget, clear administrative responsivilities of the
institutions engaged and concrete mechanisms for participation of
municipalities, NGOs and roma community. The Declaration was signed by
71 organizations. It will be send to the Parliament and the Council of
Ministers. The participants discussed suggestions for the key-areas in
the strategic document for Roma integration – education, employment,
health care, living conditions, Roma culture, Roma women and Roma
The Meeting was organized in the eve of the International Human Rights
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