EU Policies Bottom-Up
The European Union regards Roma Inclusion as an important issue. But too often action plans, programs and initiatives thought up in Brussels offices and national capitals do not correspond to the reality of Roma exclusion. As a result, although the situation differs across Europe and examples of successful projects do exist, progress has overall been limited. In some respects the situation for many Roma has even deteriorated. Violence against Roma has intensified in some member states while the economic crisis hits those most vulnerable on the labour market, including many Roma, first and hardest. In addition, many Roma who migrated, using their freedom of travel as EU–citizens, have been caught between a rock and hard place.
ERGO Network supports Roma organisations to take the lead in assessing the impact of local, national and European projects, programs and policies. We want to show policymakers the obstacles that prevent successful Roma inclusion, identify factors for success and formulate concrete suggestions as to how policies should be changed. At the same time Roma NGOs and communities are assisted to develop the skills and knowledge they need to advocate for change in their own member states.
At European level, ERGO wants to contribute to the development of a culture of constructive criticism towards policies and interventions of Member States, the EU and of Roma NGOs and communities. After all, the identification of good practices is a useful exercise, but becomes meaningful only if it is framed in a broader analysis of policies and practices. Reflection on ‘less than desired outcomes’, failures and ‘worst practices’ is crucial.