Roma Integration 2020: Public Dialogue Forum on Strategy and Action Plan for inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians
Pristina - Under the framework of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Project Roma Integration 2020, the first Policy Dialogue Forum, jointly organized with the Office for Good Governance of the Office of the Prime Minister, was held in Pristina today.
The Forum aimed at discussing the implementation of the Draft Strategy and Action Plan for the inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo* society in period 2017-2021 and measures envisaged for the year 2017-2018. It brought together about 45 participants including members of Parliament, representatives of the Government, civil society and international organizations, who devoted special attention to the budgetary requirements for the implementation of the Action Plan’s priority measures.
The Forum was opened by Ms Sadete Demaj from the Office for Good Governance at the Office of the Prime Minister. Demaj stressed that the Forum is being organized to look at the role and importance of the Strategy implementation, the responsibilities of ministries and municipalities in its implementation, and cooperation with civil society, in particular.
Mr Orhan Usein, Team Leader of the RCC project Roma Integration 2020 Action Team, welcomed participants and presented the project and its objectives. He called for the establishment of the inter-ministerial coordination body that would be tasked with the implementation and monitoring of the Strategy. Usein shared the information on the outcomes of the recent 1st Task Force meeting held on 9 November 2016 in Belgrade, especially stressing the reporting template on annual implementation of Roma integration public policy of the participating governments.
Following the short presentation of the Strategy and Action Plan, Mr Kushtrim Bajrami, representing the Kosovo* Education and Employment Network that participated in the Strategy drafting process, informed that about 15 million EUR is needed for the implementation of the Strategy, 60 % of which are expected to come from international donors.
As a follow up to this Forum, the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team will collect the recommendations from the participants and publish them as a policy recommendation paper to the relevant authorities in Kosovo*.
 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.