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07 Sep 2017

Quarterly Meeting of Montenegro's Inter-Ministerial Body on Roma Integration

Mr Orhan Usein, Team Leader, and Ms Aleksandra Bojadjieva, Policy Expert of the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team of the Regional Cooperation Council met with the National Roma Contact Point of Montenegro, Mr Leon Gjokaj, and participated at the quarterly meeting of the Commission for monitoring of the implementation of the “Strategy for social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro 2016-2020” (Commission). This visit was used to initiate dialogue among relevant stakeholders on various important issues to be discussed at the project Task Force meeting, and prepare the National Roma Contact Point of Montenegro for the participation at the meeting. It was also used to review the recommendations emanating from the National Platform on Roma Integration organized in Montenegro in May this year, and the possibility to follow up those relevant for better integration of Roma in Montenegro.

Following up on the National Platform, the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team prepared a policy brief including the conclusions and recommendations highlighted during the meeting. The commission reviewed the paper and provided further comments and explanations. The most promising development related to the discussion of the Commission regarding the recommendations is that it indicated good will by the institutions to immediately follow up on some of the recommendations and to further discuss the rest. 

Thorough information on the upcoming meeting of the project Task Force was provided by the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team, including the need to provide feedback on the monitoring process and template agreed at the previous Task Force meeting, information on the funding gaps and ideas on the future engagement of Montenegro on the issue of Roma integration at regional and EU level. It was agreed that the Commission members shall provide written feedback on the monitoring process and template, with a note that the template should not be substantially changed, but the institutions should be further capacitated to provide information. In particular, the representative of the State Statistics recommended that the monitoring and reporting standards are recognized as official and the State Statistics include those as regular part of their programme. It was also agreed that the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights should request information from the institutions on the funding gaps, as well as share the request with the local self-governments for input, in order to prepare for the upcoming donor conference within the Roma Integration 2020. The Commission was also encouraged to think about the future of the Roma Integration 2020 project and the EU Framework for NRIS up to 2020, and communicate any inputs to these processes to the National Roma Contact Point of Montenegro.