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"Intre trecut si viitor - Romii din Centrul si Estul Europei", Will Guy(ed.), 2001

"Stare de impunitate" - Centrul European pentru Drepturile Romilor, 2001

"La marginea societatii - Romii si serviciile publice in Romania" - Open Society Institute, 2001


The Conference Regarding the Implementation at Local Level of the Government Strategy for the
Improvement of the Roma Situation in Romania

FINAL REPORT


SUMMARY

Workshop 1:

The partnership between local public authorities and Roma Civil Society - the civic involvement of Roma people at local level

Workshop 2:

Mechanisms and structures regarding the implementation of the Romanian Government Strategy for the improvement at local level of the Roma situation - present and future

Workshop 3:

Positive practices regarding the Roma community development at local level

Workshop 4:

The Roma minority political representation in local public administration


Workshop 1
The partnership between local public authorities and Roma Civil Society- the civic involvement of Roma people at local level

Obstacles:

  • Lack of acceptance of local authority in establishing a partnership (Panciu, sanitary mediator)
  • Lack of acceptance of Roma people due to the existence of a traditional cultural domination
  • The lack of an adequate legal environment
  • The lack of funds needed for the implementation of specific programs and projects
  • The existence of prejudices and stereotypes at local public authority level
  • Poverty limits the access to the public services
  • The superficial involvement, in some cases, at Roma leadership level
  • Some funds for Roma communities were guided to some other destinations
  • The lack of knowledge, at local authorities level, of the Governmental Strategy Regarding the Improvement of Roma Situation

Recommendations:
· Availability for realizing partnerships (for example the partnership between The Ministry of Health and Romani Criss Association, which leaded to the institutionalization of the sanitary and scholar mediator and brought them on the list of the Job Nomenclature)
· To support and promote Roma women based on competence criteria, in order to give them access to the public administration jobs
· Unless there are no Roma doctors as sanitary inspectors for Roma people within the Regional Public Sanitation Offices, they should be replaced by Roma nurses
· The sanitary mediators salaries should be supported by the Ministry of Health budget
· To identify solutions for those members of the Roma communities, who don't have the possibilities of paying the medical insurance fees in order to provide them medical services
· The collaboration between the public administration and the Roma minority should be institutionalized. In the places where there are no NGOs (there are only 100 Roma NGOs, while Roma People live in over 3000 cities) we recommend that initiative groups should be made (ad-hoc)
· To use lobbing strategies upon local public administration, in order to achieve the objectives of the Roma communities
· Establish the priorities
· To identify the financial and human resources needed in order to set up realistic partnership programs between the local public administration and Roma communities
· To promote the positive results of the partnership between local public administration and Roma NGOs
· During the next census the Roma organizations should inform the members of the Roma communities about the advantages of declaring their ethnic belonging
· Public administration should establish partnerships with local Roma leaders
· To realize monographic research focused upon Roma communities, in order to identify their main problems and needs
· To create independent structures in order to evaluate the finalized projects impact and to control the funds spending
· Taking into consideration the agreement signed between the Ministry of Health and ODIHR Bureau (within OSCE), the local authorities should identify and recommend at least 3 potential sanitary mediators, which can be trained in this sense during the current year
· To efficiently solve the Roma people's problems, it is advisable that local leaders to be actively involved in taking control of these problems and informing local authorities about them
· Concerning the co-financing matters, to eliminate the obstacles related to the procedure of getting the zero rate certificate as much as possible and also to reduce the contribution of the Roma NGOs which are involved in Phare programs from 20% to 5%
· To clarify professional statute of the Roma advisers within City Halls


Workshop 2
Mechanisms and structures regarding the implementation of the Romanian Government Strategy for the improvement at local level of the Roma situation
- present and future -


Obstacles:

  • The xenophobe and racist speech of some of the local public administration representatives
  • Some City Halls don't reckon the representativity of the Roma communities, tacking in consideration the 1992 census
  • The Roma Experts do not receive all the information related to Roma problems that reach the City Hall
  • The BJRs responsibilities are not clearly set up
  • There is not timely and efficient communication neither between BJRs' members, nor between them and other persons or institutions which have responsibilities in implementing the Strategy
  • There is no financial motivation for BJRs' public employees
  • The BJRs' meetings are not held periodically


Recommendations:
· Informing programs made in collaboration with Public Administration Ministry concerning the Roma people and human rights situation
· To establish partnerships between public institutions and NGOs for preparing and implementing useful projects
· It is important that all the committees that will take part to the 2002 census have Roma representatives
· Roma Experts should receive all the data and information related to Roma situation that reach the City Hall
· Each Roma Expert and other members of the BJRs should clearly know its responsibilities
· The BJR members, who have been chosen from among the City Hall employees, should come from European Integration Department and from Governmental Programs and Strategies Department, both inside the City Halls
· Supplementary remuneration for BJR's public service employees from the City Halls
· The BJR's members should be in charge of dealing with the Roma situation and with the implementation of the Strategy
· The BJR meetings should be set up periodically and any member should have the possibility to convene them
· To set up periodically reports and an efficient circulation of the documents
· The Mixed Working Groups for Roma people from local level should be formed by:
- BJR's members
- Regional ministry services representatives
- Roma organization representatives (if there are any)
- Roma NGO's representatives

Workshop 3
Positive practices regarding the Roma community development at local level


Obstacles:

  • Roma people do not have identity papers
  • Some mayors, who are local decision makers, are racist
  • There are no health insurance for those who have not paid their fees
  • Their own contribution of those who attend for Phare funds is to big

Recommendations:
· Small and medium firms should be encouraged in their actions
· The NGOs projects financed from European Union's funds should be free of VAT
· Local Agencies for Employment and Professional Training should be involved in professional reorientation of Roma people
· To create training programs for development and management of the projects in Roma people and public employees matters
· Clear details regarding the partnerships between NGOs and public institutions should be set up before sending the programs for being financed
· At least one Roma person should be involved in all the services of interest for Roma communities
· Identity papers for Roma people
· Some solutions should be found in order to give ownership documents for the land on which Roma people built their houses / finding a possibility for giving them in use, based on Law 50/1991
· Roma leaders should be more responsible
· To organize regional meetings in order to gather as many local public authorities representatives as possible
· To hire Roma persons in Public Guardians Groups
· To avoid discrimination

Workshop 4
The Roma minority political representation in local public administration


Obstacles:

  • The real number of Roma people in their communities is unknown
  • Roma people don't have juridical identity
  • Some Roma people don't realize the real importance of declaring their own identity
  • Some elementary rules for gathering the data for the census were inefficient or disobeyed by the members of the census committees
  • Some experts within the Local Councils don't know Romanes language
  • Roma Party Agencies do not have the right to propose projects / programs

Recommendations:
· Local Level Census should be realized by an expert who belongs to the Roma community
· Roma people should be informed of the positive implications of declaring their ethnic belonging
· The members of the Census Committees should be trained in order to respect the rules of developing a census
· At least one Roma people representative should be a member of Census Committee
· The Roma people which stand in local elections and succeed in gaining an important number of votes (even if it doesn't reach the minimum elections level) should have a representative in Local Council
· In the cities with an important percentage of Roma people, a Roma representative should have a place in Local Council
· To promote positive practices and to solve the conflict situations
· To create special functions which could apply pressure not only from outside, but even from inside the organization
· To periodically organize local level meetings in order to debate the Strategy and to evaluate the level of implementation; it is recommended that those meetings to be attended by local public authority representatives as well as by Roma community representatives.


 
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