The Conference Regarding the Implementation at Local Level of the Government Strategy for Improvement of Roma Situation in Romania
Brasov, November, 23rd to 25th
The Opening Session
Between the 23th and the 25th of November, the Phare Program of the European Union organized in Brasov the Conference concerning the Implemetation at the Local Level of the Romanian Government Strategy for the Improvement of Roma People Situation. At this event, there were invited to participate representatives of the central and local administration, members of Roma associations as well as some public figures involved in the support and the promotion of projects concerning the Roma people.
The Conference was meant to be a pragmatic approach of the themes initiated during the OSCE Conference "Equal Opportunities for Roma and Sinti: from Words to Facts", which took place in Bucharest, at the beginning of September this year. The debates were held in four workshops and they focused on the main projects of the implementation of the governamental strategy in the departments having an important Roma population.
At the opening session, chaired by Ivan Gheorghe, secretary of state in the Public Information Ministry, there were invited to have a speech deputies, representatives of the central and local administration. Florin Calinescu, the well known television man, in his short intervention, underlined that Romania is inhabited by Romanian citizens, inspite any ethnically or culturally determined identity.
The main objective of the conference was to establish a dialogue between the local and the central administration, both of them being equally involved in the management and the implemetation of the governamental strategy, adopted at the beginning of this year. The mayors and the Roma leaders were invited to openly exchange experience and to look together for solutions of the common problems.
Some of the successful actions were the creation of the Departamental Offices for Roma, the development of the associative life, the proliferation of the projects concerning specific aspects of the Roma communities and the sincere preocupation of the local authorities in dealing with problems difficulties experienced by the Roma communities.
Failures were also mentionned: lack of detail information on every department and lack of human and material resources. Difficult communication between the central and the local administration as well as between the political and the civic structures were also signaled. Illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, discrimination and isolation are problems to be solved only if they are correctly perceived by all the parties concerned. Efforts should no be done only by the authorities, they have to be completed by a sincere participation of Roma people at different levels.
Inspite all these impediments, the speakers stayed optimistic, hoping that this conference would be a step forward in finding concrete answers for most of the problems.