ERGO Network is a young and dynamic organisation established in 2008 by a small group of NGOs who shared the observation that everyday realities of Roma communities were hardly taken into account in policy development and implementation.
Founded on a shared philosophy of active citizenship, shared responsibility and grassroots empowerment, ERGO Network members aim to convince policy makers that positive change for Roma is possible when antigypsyism is recognized and tackled as root cause of the inequality they face and when the preconditions are in place for Roma to take part in civic life as equal stakeholders.
NEWS from the Network:
Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar 2017 in Brussels
Join us in Brussels to learn about European policy-making and civil society advocacy, and to raise young voices in front of the European Parliament, European Commission and other stakeholders to combat antigypsyism and to advance important issues for Roma communities.
This six days lasting seminar (March 23 to 30, 2017, including travel days) is organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network, ERGO Network and the Documentation and Cultural Centre & Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It will gather 40 young Roma and non-Roma activists in order to strengthen their capacity as young advocates and leaders to tackle antigypsyism. To apply read more here.
Social inclusion of Roma in rural areas through CLLD process
Better integration of Roma people in rural areas is not only a social, but also a demographic and economic issue. The European Roma Grassroots Organization (ERGO Network) has been working actively to use bottom-up/ partnership-based approaches (such as LEADER/CLLD) as a tool to engage Roma people more actively in shaping the future of their rural areas. Read more on the work on CLLD and Roma in BG, SK, CZ and RO here
Joint statement: International Holocaust Remembrance Day: EU must tackle contemporary Antisemitism and Antigypsyism
Brussels, 27 January 2017 – Today on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, anti-racism organisations across Europe urge European governments to make Antisemitism, Antigypsyism and all forms of racism a priority, in a context of increasing hate speech and security threats against minorities.
The International Holocaust Day is a vital opportunity to remember the tragic events of the Holocaust and to reaffirm our commitment to ensure that such injustices are never to reoccur. Full joint statement read here.
Deadline extended 15th of January: Vacancy Executive Director ERGO Network
**Due to issues with the email address, applications sent so far did not reach us, this is now fixed** you can send your CV and motivation letter at: email@example.com by January 15th 2017, indicating in the subject of the email "Application for Director”. Successful candidates will be invited for interviews in Brussels on January 30th and 31st**
European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network is looking for a new director who can motivate and lead its European office in Brussels.We are uniquely positioned to lead high-level advocacy processes, while keeping a clear eye making a difference for the Roma at grassroots level. ERGO Network brings together people and organisations sharing our passion to bring positive change to the conditions of Roma societies across Europe.
ERGO Network has its office in Brussels with a small but dedicated staff, composed out of high professional Roma and non-Roma. Currently, the network gathers 20 organisations from several European countries.
Please read the call with the job description here
“The inclusion of the Roma community was encouraged and evaluated through a system of indicators developed by the ERGO Network”* - a story of success…
In Bulgaria the implementation of the CLLD in the 2014-2020 programming period started within the Rural Development Program 2014-2020, which is the successor of the LEADER approach that was applied in Bulgaria for the first time in the previous programming period. During this period, the budget for implementation of local development strategies is significantly increased - it is almost two times larger than the previous period’s, which means that the strategies that are expected to be funded will be two times more and this is due to the indicators that ERGO Network developed. Find the full article here
Message of the ERGO NETWORK from the Public event “COUNTERING SHRINKING SPACE FOR ROMA CIVIL SOCIETY’ to the European Roma Platform
On November 29th, ERGO network organised a public event to discuss the ‘Shrinking space of Roma civil society’ which was co-hosted by MEPs Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA) and Tomáš Zdechovský (EPP). Over 80 people participated in the meeting. One of the conclusions is that there is a squeeze on available funding for work that is not strictly oriented to the provision of social services: advocacy, watchdog work, civil monitoring, community empowerment and activism. That shrinking space of civil society is a trend in Europe, but hits hard on Roma organisations, as they are scarcely equipped and often struggling for survival. Read more
ERGO Network Annual Platform Members’ Meeting
ERGO Network brought together people from over 20 organizations and young Roma activists for the Annual Members’ Platform that took place in Brussels on 28th of November. The meeting was open by Ruus Dijksterhuis, Director of the ERGO Network who shared a short history of the work that was conducted by ERGO and opened a space for the members organizations to present their own work and share their motivation for taking part in the network... Read more
ERGO NETWORK PUBLIC EVENT: “COUNTERING SHRINKING SPACE FOR ROMA CIVIL SOCIETY” : Register now
14 November 2016
November 29th 2016 09.30 – 12.30
Brussels, Rue Edimbourg 26 (Mundo B, Conference Room)
Who can keep governments’ accountable -especially at the national and local level- on their performance to include Roma in society? Is there a role to play for (pro) Roma civil society? There is a strong squeeze on available funding for work that is not strictly oriented to the provision of social services: advocacy, watchdog work, civil monitoring, community empowerment and activism. Shrinking space of civil society is a universal trend, but hits hard on Roma organisations, as they are scarcely equipped and often struggling for survival.
To register and see full program read here
Czech NGOs meet with the Czech EdMin about the state hiring Roma and support for Romani students in the Czech Republic.
Deputy Education Minister Václav Pícl met with representatives of a National Working Group that consists of 11 Romani non-profit organizations from all over the Czech Republic on 3 October in his office at the ministry. "The aim of the meeting is to establish a constructive collaboration between established Romani nonprofit organizations and the Education Ministry. The coalition works with as many as 8 000 Romani people around the country and can be a bridge between the Romani community and the state administration," said Jelena Silajdži?, director of the Slovo 21 organization... read more
Update and steps forward: the 3rd meeting of the ERGO Members
ERGO Network brought together its co-workers from Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria for the 3rd working meeting under the Annual Working Program (AWP) 2016 on the 20-21 September in Brussels.The aim of the meeting was to exchange the good practices and challenges that they are encountering on the work done under the AWP 2016.The ERGO team facilitated the meeting and helped the members to map out the challenges and together with their partners to find solutions for a better collaboration and implementation of the... .Read more
Confronting antigypsyism- is the responsibility of the mainstream society.
ERGO Network was present on 6th of September at the high level event, hosted by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, co-organized with ODIHR, the Council of Europe and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, and brought together more than 130 participants, including members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and of national parliaments, along with high-ranking governmental representatives, civil society representatives, and other relevant stakeholders in the fight against antigypsyism.All the speakers stressed the need to strengthen alliances among stakeholders, including the civil society and to build a firm stand of political leaders against antigypsyism.Read more
On June 27th 2016 the European Commission published their Communication on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies in 2015 and reviews, for the first time, Roma integration measures put in place under the Council Recommendation 2013. The report is based on information submitted by Member States of the efforts made to integrate Roma, supplemented by input from civil society. ERGO Network concludes that the report clearly indicates a lack of action in crucial areas -also those Member States with a significant number of Roma. Therefore, ERGO Network supports the urgent call of the European Commission’s on Member States to address the key priorities and step up their efforts.
Roma for Slovakia: Breaking Stereotypes and Changing Perceptions
During the weekend of 22 to 24 July 2016, Humenné became the headquarters of Romani activism in Slovakia. A group of NGOs and individual activists gathered to discuss opportunities for action and break the perceptions of Roma as passive recipients of help. Start of the initiative, led by Roma Advocacy and Research Centre (Rómske advokacné a výskumné stredisko - RAVS) coincides with the Slovak presidency of the Council of European Union (July to December 2016) and establishment of the Alliance against Antigypsyism (5 July 2016). To read more click here
Commission launches Online Consultation to discuss the Roma Platform
The European Commission, DG Justice is launching online consultation which aims to establish the agenda of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion that will take place on the 29-30 November 2016. The online consultation process has been preceded by operational-level discussions and policy reflections with various relevant stakeholders (Civil Society Organizations, National Roma Contact Points etc.) resulting in the Agenda items proposed in the online consultation form. Consequently, the Commission now invites interested sides to identify the topics considered to be of most relevance within the context of the European Platform for Roma inclusion taking into account the political priorities both at European and National level with a focus on Roma needs at local level. Read more
ERGO Network and RomaReact at the Fundamental Rights Forum
ERGO Network has been presenting the online digital platform RomaReact.org and a reference paper on Antigypsyism to the audience at the Fundamental Rights Forum that took place in Vienna from 20 - 23 June 2016. The Fundamental Rights Forum gathered 700 experts from around the world. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights convened the Forum under the motto "Rights, Respect, Reality: the Europe of Values in Today's World" in order to connect, reflect and act on the European fundamental rights. Read more
Alliance against Antigypsyism launches
5 July 2016
The Alliance against Antigypsyism today published a reference paper on antigypsyism, the specific racism against Roma, Sinti, Travellers and other groups who are stigmatised as ‘gypsies’ in the public domain. The reference paper proposes a working definition of antigypsyism. “This is necessary: the term antigypsyism is increasingly used, but there is no common understanding of its scope, depth and implications. This hinders the formulation of effective answers to tackle it,” said Gabriela Hrabanova of ERGO Network, one of the initiators of the Alliance against Antigypsyism. Read more
National Meeting of Roma Forum in Romania
Bucharest, 30 June 2016
At the InfoEurope Center, in Bucharest, on the 30 June took place the National Meeting of Roma Forum organized by Nevo Parudimos - member of ERGO Network in partnership with Romani Criss. Read More
Five years of the European Framework of the National Roma Strategies have passed. What is next?
29 June 2016
On June 29, 2016, in Brussels was held the conference “Five years of the European Framework of the National Roma Strategies have passed. What is next?” Organizer of the conference was MEP Peter Niedermuller from the S&D Parliamentary Group of the European Parliament. Read more
ERGO Network Response: European Court of Auditors Report ‘EU policy initiatives and financial support for Roma integration’ addresses Antigypsyism but more concrete measures needed.
28 June 2016
Brussels, 28 June 2016
ERGO Network welcomes the European Court of Auditors Report ‘EU policy initiatives and financial support for Roma integration’. The report declares that “significant progress is made over the last decade, but additional efforts are needed on the ground”. Roma, the largest EU minority, have suffered and are still victims of discrimination, and “are mostly marginalised”. Read more
European Platform for Roma Inclusion Preparatory Meeting
Brussels, 17 June 2016
The annual European Platform for Roma Inclusion will be held in Brussels on 29 and 30 November 2016. With this regards the “Non-discrimination policies and Roma coordination” Unit under the Directorate-General Justice and Consumers of the European Commission organised its second preparatory meeting with relevant stakeholders, including the ERGO Network. Read more
The ERGO Network signalized the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI)
Recently Bulgaria has become a stage of very disturbing and openly racist manifestations against Roma people. The 17-years-old Mitko has been brutally beaten for saying that “Roma” and “Bulgarians” are equal. Although the video of the incident became viral in social media and was shared thousands of times, the crime was not recognized by the regional prosecution as a “crime motivated by hatred” but as a “hooliganism”. A week later, in the city of Radnevo appeared a new conflict related to Roma: thousands of citizens were encouraged to come out and to protest against the Roma living in their town.
Amid all this, internet users were able to read the hate-speech of the Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki from the European Conservatives and Reformists Parliamentary Group. Read more
ERGO Network is hiring a full-time Programme Coordinator
11 May 2016
ERGO Network is hiring a full-time Programme Coordinator to join its team in Brussels. Please read the call with the job description here.
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their CV and motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 20th, 2016, 23:59 CET, indicating in the subject of the email “Application Programme Coordinator”. This email address can also be used for further information and questions.
We will review the applications on a rolling base. Successful candidates will be invited for interviews in Brussels on May 18th, 23rd, and 24th May. Skype interviews will also be taken into consideration. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.
Via Idro: From the House to the Sewer
"This is the end of the story of degradation and marginalization. The wound that had been opened in the '80s for the Roma people from via Idro now starts the path of integration, law and real inclusion into the urban context" declared on 15 March this year Marco Granelli – the Milan Councillor for Security. The statement was made right after the closure of the regular camp via Idro and the uprooting of 97 people from their homes. In fact what Granelli calls “real inclusion into the urban context” is putting people out of their homes and placing them in the sewer. Read more
Invitation to sign the Manifesto in frame of ‘Roma Week in the European Parliament’
In frame of the ‘Roma Week’ we are asking Members of European Parliament you to sign the manifesto and pledge for the implementation of the resolution of 15 April 2015 on the occasion of International Roma Day – antigypsyism in Europe and EU recognition of the memorial day of the Roma genocide during World War II. Read more about the invitation to MEPs here.
5 April 2016
Open Air Breakfast – young Roma activists meet EU decision makers
On 6 April, 75 young Roma activists invite you to join a Public Breakfast with MEPs, European Commission and the incoming Slovak EU Presidency on the European Parliament Esplanade. Anticipating the 45th celebration of International Roma Day on 8 April, the event challenges stereotypes of Roma and highlights the need for action to fulfil the EP’s 2015 landmark resolution on the fight against antigypsyism.
The open air breakfast is organised by the European Roma Grasroots Organisations (ERGO) Network, in cooperation with Phiren Amenca International Roma Youth Network, ternYpe Roma Youth Network and Foyer vzw. Young Roma activists from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Slovakia, Romania, Spain and Sweden express their aspiration to be the Generation of Change in up to 10 parallel breakfast table conversations with decision makers.
9.00 - 9.10 Official opening of “Roma Youth Week” by Tiina Astola, Director-General DG Justice
9.10 - 9.15 Photo session with Director-General, MEPs, young Roma and guests
9.15 - 10.00 Breakfast conversations with Director-General Astola, MEPs, Peter Pollak (Slovak
Plenipotentiary for Roma), and young Roma from across Europe
10.00-11.00 “The role of Roma youth in combating antigypsyism”: Debate with Soraya Post (MEP S&D), Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) and Damian Draghici (MEP S&D)
Roma Week in the European Parliament
` The open air breakfast is organized as part of the Roma Week in the European Parliament: a series of events aiming to celebrate International Roma Day. The Roma Week in the European Parliament is organized in cooperation with Roma NGOs and MEPs and will take place within two days: 5 and 6 April 2016. The Roma Week in the European Parliament is granted the patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. The detailed agenda of all the activities can be found here. The poster of the Roma Week in the European Parliament can be found here .
April 8, 2016, marks exactly 45 years since the First World Romani Congress, which took place in Orpington, near London.
April 8, 2016, also marks one year since the adoption of the resolution of the European Parliament dedicated to the fight against anti-Gypsyism.
For more information, please contact Atanas Stoyanov: +32 465 261 209 email@example.com
UPCOMING 45 years of International Roma Day: Roma Week and Roma Youth Advocacy Training
This year, April 8 – the International Roma Day is a little more special than before.
April 8, 2016, marks exactly 45 years since the First World Romani Congress, which took place in Orpington, near London. On this historic day, in the presence of 23 representatives of nine countries and numerous observers were accepted the Roma flag and the Roma anthem.
April 8, 2016, also marks one year since the adoption of the resolution of the European Parliament dedicated to the fight against anti-Gypsyism.
To honor the date, the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network involved in organizing the so-called Roma Week in the European Parliament Read More
Czech Roma NGOs met to discuss their plans for coalition
The member of ERGO Network in the Czech Republic - Slovo 21 has called civil society organizations to meet to discuss their plans for a collective work in the coalition. The two days meeting gathered about 15 organizations, focused on the how the cooperation of organizations in the coalition will look like and on the development of the concrete advocacy plan Read More
ERGO Network launches a study on the Equality Bodies in seven member states
On the occasion of the International Day for the elimination of racial Discrimination, 21 March, the ERGO Network launches the synthesis paper “Equality Bodies: Promoting equality and fighting against discrimination of Roma”. Read More
Registration for the conference “Employment Opportunities for Young Roma”
18 March 2016
In cooperation with a number of members of the European Parliament, the ARDI intergroup and pro-Roma NGOs, ERGO Network organises a Roma Week to mark the 45th celebration of the International Roma Day, 8th April.
Due to limited spaces we kindly ask you to fill out the below registration form until March 25th. You will receive a confirmation of your registration by March 30th.
PETITION: Don't evict Roma families of 'Via Salaria’ in Rome, Italy and offer decent alternatives!
Appeal from the inhabitants the ‘Via Salaria Collection Center’, Rome Italy
We call upon you to offer the opportunities to the Roma people from via Salaria to live like equal citizens in Europe -with decent housing conditions and facilities that make sure their children can invest in a better future.
After accommodating us in inhumane conditions for years, after having spent millions lot euro on us, while soon we will be left on the streets without any decent alternatives to become equal citizens!
Sign the petition here
ERGO Network met with the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights
Brussels, 14.3. 2016
Zeid Ra´ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights, met with more than twenty Brussels-based civil society organizations, including ERGO Network... Read more
UPDATE VIA IDRO: This week the camp will be evicted!
The story of the people from Via Idro ends sadly. After the decision of the State Council on March 2nd which has considered unfounded grounds of the residents who demanded to stop the eviction, Milan Commissioner Marco Granelli has decided to speed up the eviction of Roma families... Read more
Roma Active Albania is looking for a Regional Project Coordinator
Roma Active Albania is looking for a Regional Project Coordinator for the EU-funded project "Joint Initiative to Empower Roma Civil Society on the Western Balkans and Turkey". Find more
Around 300 Roma unlawfully evicted around Milan, Italy
On 25 February 2016 the Italian member of the European Grassroots Organizations Network - Association Upre Roma, was signalized on the eviction of about 300 Roma people in the settlement in via Ripamonti in Milan. After immediate on-site inspection was found out that only dozens of families with children (61 persons) have been welcomed in social emergency centers, but the rest of the families with children remained excluded and left without any solution. Read more
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar, Brussels, 31 March until 7 April 2016
(including travel days)
This seven-days seminar is organized by Phiren Amenca, ternYpe International Roma Youth Network and ERGO Network. It will gather 30 young Roma and non-Roma youth in order to strengthen their capacity as young advocates and leaders to tackle antigypsyism. During the seminar, the group will run a youth campaign against antigypsyism targeting EU level actors, like Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. The campaign is part of the “Roma Week” ahead of the 8 April – International Roma Day.
The “Roma Week” is an initiative of a group of Members of the European Parliament and civil society organizations to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the International Roma Day. The “Roma Week” is taking place at the European Parliament on April 4-7, 2016.
Youth Guarantee: Opportunities for young Roma (Findings)
ERGO Network presents its synthesis note on the European Youth Guarantee
Youth unemployment is one of Europe’s big challenges. For young Roma, it is often a persistent struggle: for many, the impact of the economic slowdown is compounded by common aspects of Roma social exclusion, including substandard education and direct or indirect discrimination on the labour market.
The ERGO Network expresses its concerns about the closure of the Roma Department in the Municipality of Kavarna
The Bulgarian National Roma Civil Society Coalition “Intellect”* came earlier today with an official position concerning the massive firing of Roma employees in the Municipality of Kavarna, Bulgaria. Read more
ARDI launch: Together against racism
On 26th January the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) was launched with an event on the theme “Together against racism.” The event was hosted by the members of the ARDI Bureau and guest speakers included Mr Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and Mr Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Tackling the antigypsyism is a strong item in the work plan of ARDI with Soraya Post, becoming a co-chair of the group with a strong focus on this phenomenon.
ARDI is an important ally of the ERGO Network. ARDI together with the coalition of civil society organizations and and more then twenty members of European Parliament are preparing number of events under the “Roma Week 2016” ahead of the international day of Roma. Read more about the ARDI Launch.
Update Petition: Stop Eviction of Roma from Via Idro, Milan
Mr. Granelly, City Councillor of Milan, has suspended the eviction of the 20 families of Via Idro!!
Some touching news: Children from the school of the Roma kids send a letter to the Mayor of Milan asking not to take their friend from the school. Read more
Stop eviction Roma families of Via Idro, Milan! Sign the petition
On January 10th, 20 Roma families will be evicted from the regular camp called Via Idro in Milan. Read more
ERGO Network Knowledge Fair, register now!
Generation of Change? How to achieve equal opportunities for young Roma, starting now!
Monday 7th December 2015
Breakfast of Champions & Knowledge Fair 8.30 – 12.00
Networking Lunch 12.00 – 13.30
Expert Workshops 13.30 – 16.30
Venue: Mundo B, Rue d’Edimbourg 26, 1050 Brussels
Can today’s young Roma be the generation of change? Can they shake off the poverty and stigmatization that paralyzed earlier generations and present a more positive portrait of their communities?
The ERGO Network Knowledge Fair showcases that there are no reasons left to postpone the actions needed to break the vicious cycle of Roma exclusion. Take the opportunity to meet young activists and experts from across Europe, who share their experiences and bring alive the arguments for more resolute action.
Full program here
Register online here.
European Semester 2015: the Roma perspective
ERGO Network has supported its member organisations in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in understanding and analysing the European Semester process and proposing recommendations to both the national and the European level. read more
28 October 2015 - URGENT!!! Eviction of Roma camp in Malmö, Sweden planned this Sunday - 28 October - read more
21 October 2015 - European Parliament Hearing on Fighting Racial Discrimination in Housing: Forced Evictions against Roma: Recommendations from the stakeholders - read more