This is one of the findings in an independent study on support for Roma inclusion in the Grants.
To get an overview of support for Roma inclusion under the Grants in the 2004-2009 funding period as well as planned support in the 2009-2014 funding period and to draw lessons for the future, an independent external study on Roma inclusion in the EEA and Norway Grants has been conducted.
The review was made by CREDA Consulting Ltd. based in Bulgaria after a request from the Financial Mechanism Office. It included 140 interviews and documentary research focused on the five beneficiary countries with sizeable Roma minorities - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
The study was presented to the main stakeholders this week, including to the national contact points in the beneficiary states and the Financial Mechanism Office.
2004-2009 funding period
- Roma inclusion was not an explicit priority for the implementation of the 2004-2009 EEA and Norway Grants funding period. Therefore, only a limited number of direct Roma relevant measures were funded.
- The projects that were supported were in the majority relevant for Roma inclusion and achieved good results in their local setting. They contributed to among othersRoma empowermentby expanded access to services, community cohesion and development and human rights;more inclusive policies and practice of local social and educational institutionsby advocacy, effective partnerships and training;building bridges between Roma and non-Romaby e.g. multicultural education, public campaigns.
- The sustainability of the projects will depend on the extent to which the project promoters and partners continue working for Roma inclusion in the long-term. At least 50 % of the Roma-related projects funded by the NGO funds continue to work on the same or similar initiatives.
2009-2014 funding period
- Roma inclusion has been made a priority in the current funding period (2009-2014) with an increased number of programmes focusing on Roma inclusion.
- New and expanding strategic partnerships are an integral part of the focus. Partner institutions include the Council of Europe and the Open Society Foundation, as well as the European Commission and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
- The majority of the programmes in the five countries have a great deal of potential to generate sustainable Roma inclusion outcomes.
Recommendations for future funding
- It would be good to keep Roma inclusion as a horizontal priority across programmes. But mainstream approaches need to be complemented by Roma targeted interventions that have a direct focus on Roma communities and facilitate involvement of Roma organisations.
- Donor programme partnerships in the area of Roma inclusion need to be strategically reviewed in order to maximize their potential for assisting Roma inclusion.
The key findings and main recommendations of the study will serve as a starting point for drawing on lessons learnt when implementing programmes relevant for Roma inclusion, as well as when discussing future priorities for support given under the EEA and Norway Grants. The main objective of this process is to explore how to reach better impact in this field.
Roma inclusion in the EEA and Norway Grants
The Roma is Europe’s largest minority, with an estimated population of 10-12 million. Socially and economically, the Roma are also one of Europe’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and frequently face intolerance, discrimination and exclusion.
In the Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have made the social and economic inclusion of the Roma a priority in the current funding period (2009-2014), ensuring that special measures are taken to include the Roma as a target group in relevant programmes in countries with a sizeable Roma minorities, such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. There are also programmes in additional five beneficiary states addressing Roma inclusion-related issues.
- Find out more about the EEA and Norway Grants support for Roma inclusion on www.eeagrants.org/roma