Roma Integration 2020: The 2016 cycle of Public Dialogue Forums on Roma issues concludes in Podgorica
Podgorica – The 2016 cycle of the Public Dialogue Forums on implementation and priority measures on Roma issues, that took place throughout the region in the past few months, concluded with the Forum in Podgorica today. The events have been organised by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Roma Integration 2020 Action Team together with national authorities in Belgrade,Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Podgorica.
Speaking at the today's Forum, the Team Leader of the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team, Orhan Usein welcomed initiation of the action planning process. He expressed hope that, with the newly established government in Montenegro, the process would be accelerated and comprehensive, including budgeting and monitoring of the proposed measures for Roma integration in 2017.
The Action Team expressed its readiness to continue the support to Western Balkans authorities to adequately plan the necessary measures for Roma integration, including allocation of adequate resources and mainstreaming of actions into general policies on education, employment, housing, health and civil registration.
These Forums were a dialogue opportunity with authorities of Western Balkan economies participating in the project, at which key stakeholders jointly worked on reviewing national strategies on Roma issues,envisaged concrete measures, their budgeting, implementation and monitoring.
The Podgorica event was the last one for this year and focused on key issues as defined in national strategies on Roma. The similar cycle of events is expected on annual basis throughout Roma Integration 2020 project duration.
Later this month, on 12-13 December 2016, Vienna will host the Regional Workshop on Monitoring and Reporting under the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 (RI2020) project that aims to provide Western Balkans and Turkey government officials and civil servants with the necessary skills to collect data, use monitoring indicators and report on the Roma-relevant policy and programme implementation, given the fact that Roma Integration process is a part of the EU accession process for all aspiring economies.
Roma Integration 2020 project is implemented by the RCC's Roma Integration 2020 Action Team and it builds on the achievements of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 initiative, in line with the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies and the EU accession process. Its participants are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. The goal of the project is to contribute to reducing the socio-economic gap between the Roma and non-Roma population in the Western Balkans and Turkey and to strengthen the institutional obligations of governments to incorporate and deliver specific Roma integration goals in mainstream policy developments.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.