Thrid National Platform on Roma Integration in Serbia (Belgrade, 2018)
- 26 Jun 2018
Belgrade – National Platform on Roma integration in Serbia, providing wide public dialogue with the relevant institutions and civil society and others concerned with the issue of Roma integration, at the same time ensuring transparency of the Roma related policy, participation in decision making and accountability of the implementing institutions towards the public, met in Belgrade today.
The meeting, organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)’s Roma Integration 2020 (RI2020), in cooperation with Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Roma Social Inclusion Strategy of the Government of Republic of Serbia and Roma Integration 2020 National Contact Point, reviewed the status of implementation of Roma integration policies in Serbia, based on the inputs from line ministries on realized measures and activities, data from the local level and information from civil society.
Nenad Ivanisevic, Special Advisor to the Vice President of the Government of Republic of Serbia Zorana Mihajlovic for inclusion of Roma Men and Women and National Roma Contact Point informed attendees on achieved improvement of the position of Roma community in Serbia. “Progress in living conditions of Roma has been constant in the fields of education and housing during recent years, while employment remains challenge to be addressed in the upcoming period, as well as finding sustainable legislative solution for health mediators”, said Ivanisevic.
Orhan Usein, RI2020 Action Team Leader said that there is a room for improvement of Roma integration monitoring, through establishing appropriate system of indicators, for which comparable data are collected. “In order to adequately monitor progress of Roma integration in Serbia, it is necessary to set up the system of annual statistical data collection, with indicators in line with the goals of Action plan for implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma Men and Women”, underlined Usein.
Mirjana Maksimovic, Programme Manager for European Union Policies at the Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia stressed the importance of close cooperation between institutions of all levels, as well as other subjects involved in implementation of Roma integration policies. “In Serbia, there is a solid strategic and legal framework, but institutional coordination and cooperation between all stakeholders at central and local level with civil society and Roma community should be strengthened, in order to fully implement the Action Plan for Roma integration”, said Maksimović. She reminded that the EU has supported Roma inclusion in Serbia though projects of total value of 11,4 million EUR, which will be increased in 2019 for another 20 million EUR.
The meeting gathered round 80 officials from ministries of the Government of Republic of Serbia, local governments, civil society organisations dealing with Roma issues and international organizations.
On this occasion, representatives of the responsible institutions presented the achievements in 2017 contained in the Government’s Progress Report on the implementation of the Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma Men and Women in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2016-2025, with the focus on following policy areas: housing, education, employment and health care. The presentations of the institutions were followed by the civil society view on the issue and discussion on key achievements and challenges for integration of Roma in Serbia. Conclusions and recommendations from this event will serve to support more effective and efficient implementation of the Roma integration policy in Serbia.