Roma Integration 2020: Public Dialogue Forum on Roma issues in Skopje
Skopje - Public Dialogue Forum on Roma Integration titled “Rules of Procedure of The National Coordination Body, The Roma Information Centres, and The Roma Health Mediators” began in Skopje. The two-day event is organised by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Roma Integration 2020 Action Team together with Mr Nezdet Mustafa, Minister without portfolio, National coordinator and National Roma Contact Point, the Roma Decade Unit of the Ministry for Labour and Social Policy, and the European Union Delegation to Skopje.
The Public Dialogue Forum represents a dialogue format set up by the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team with authorities of Western Balkan economies participating in the project. The Skopje Forum is one in a series of events conducted throughout the region recently. It focuses on analysis, review and formulation of the rules of procedure of the key national and local actors dealing with the issues of Roma.
Mr Orhan Usein, Team Leader of the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team opened the Public Dialogue Forum on behalf of the co-organiser, highlighting that the Roma Integration 2020 project focuses on budgeting and mainstreaming of the measures planned for the Roma and to their benefit. In this light, the Public Dialogue Forum in Skopje responds to the specific national needs, focusing on the institutional arrangements required as a precondition for continuation of planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring the existing policies, unlike the other forums in the 2016 cycle dedicated to prioritizing and budgeting measures for the next year.
The National Coordinative Body as an inter-disciplinary group deals with planning, coordination of implementation and reporting of the Strategy for Roma and accompanying operational plans. The Roma Information Centres, designated Roma civil society organizations, involve two employees of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy based in each centre to ensure that Roma obtain access and benefits from the measures stipulated by the Strategy for Roma. The Roma Health Mediators are individuals employed by the Ministry of Health, serving in the same capacity as the Roma Information Centres but dealing only with the area of health, covering both targeted and mainstream public services.
All these key national and local actors have been active in the previous period. Their role, criteria, description, composition, reporting and other aspects require regular review and update in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of the Strategy for Roma.This Public Dialogue Forum, organized in a form of workshop, primarily looks at the existing regulations and practices. It is followed up by three dedicated workshops: on the National Coordination Body; Roma Information Centres; and Roma Health Mediators, at which regulations and practices are discussed, rules of procedure updated and formulated, as is the envisaged goal of the Forum.