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 Workshops 3 & 4
The last two workshops of the Brasov Conference debated on the positive experiences in the Roma communities' development at the local level and their political representation in the structures of the local adminitration.
Most of the mentionned successful projects adressed the social needs of the Roma minority (food, temporary accomodation, healthcare). There were also presented initiatives for economic development, educational improvement and cultural expression. All those efforts are described in a book edited by the Center of Resources for Ethnocultural Development, form Cluj Napoca, called "Projects for the Roma minority in Romania, 1990-2000" and which was intruduced to the audience by Daniela Tarnovski, one of the editors.
Even if accurate official information is not available, Roma minority is estimated to represent 10% of the population of Romania. Some weeks ago, the prime minister, Adrian Nastase announced that all the Prefectures hired Roma experts. Still, Roma communities claim theiy are underrepresented in the local structures. This deficit ends by leaving most of the problems unsolved and open to misinterpretation. A relevant example in the matter was the Piatra Neamt case. The conference gave an opportunity to the Romani Criss organisation to make public a protocol which was signed by all the involved parties and which is trying to instaure a collaboration climate, mediated by OSCE.
In the end, Cristian Parvulescu, political analyst, remarqued that it would be a mistake to approve isolationist attitudes towards the Roma minority. Such experiences proved to be very traumatic in other countries with similar cases. On the other side, he encouraged the participation of the Romas in the local decision-making process and he concluded that this "inside lobby" may be a possible answer to most of the problems related to the implementation of the governamental strategy.