Local authority mayors, international institutions, NGOs and Roma activists have agreed to set up a European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma inclusion.
The alliance is the product of the first Summit of Mayors on Roma issues, organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and its partners.
The summit’s final declaration stated that the alliance would be a “framework for co-operation, sharing of good practices, strengthening local and regional capacities for action, identifying specific problems and proposing solutions, and helping to ensure funding for Roma activities at the grassroots level.”
A group of six European cities and regions (Aubervilliers/France, Kavarna/Bulgaria, Malaga/Spain, Region of Madrid/Spain, Heraklion/Greece and the 5th district of Bucharest/Romania) will build on the summit’s success and strengthen its grassroots links.
This podcast brings together Jeroen Schokkenbroek, the Council of Europe’s Roma policy chief, John Warmisham (photo), the Congress’ Rapporteur on Roma, Amnesty International’s Nicola Duckworth and Ramiza Sakip of European Roma Young People.
They discuss the role of local authorities in tackling rising ‘Roma-phobia,’ the reasons behind the timing of the summit, the empowerment of Roma communities, the mechanics of segregated education and the role of the Council of Europe in furthering the inclusion of Roma people.
The 22 September summit brought together 300 local and regional politicians, representatives of Roma organisations, territorial administrations and civil society, as well as European institutional partners.
They discussed the exclusion and discrimination of Roma across Europe, their continued marginalisation and lack of access to education, housing, healthcare and employment.
The summit’s final declaration added: “We reaffirm that as local and regional elected representatives we are responsible for ensuring the well-being and upholding the basic rights of all who live in our communities irrespective of their origin or background.
“We stress our determination to lead by example in condemning anti-Roma discourse and our commitment to ensuring the respect of the rights of Roma that are guaranteed to everyone in Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter.”
Information: Final declaration of the Mayors’ Summit on Roma
Webfile: Mayors’ Summit on Roma
Webfile: Making Human Rights for Roma a reality
Podcast: The Cancer Of Race Hatred
Video: Interview with John Warmisham, Congress Thematic Rapporteur Roma
Video: Interview with Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights
Video: Interview with Jeroen Schokkenbroek, Special Representative on Roma issues