Annual report 2011 ERGO Network: Interesting Developments

3 July 2012

Interesting Developments

ERGO Network presents Annual Report for 2011 with its preface here by Ruus Dijksterhuis, Executive Director ERGO Network:

"It is my pleasure to present you the Annual report of ERGO Network for 2011; a year of interesting developments. In April, the European Commission launched the European Roma Framework Strategy that aims to focus on improving policy design and policy implementation in the Member States. This created expectations and new dynamics among the people and organisations involved in Roma inclusion. ERGO Network strongly believes that the Framework provides a chance for enhancing equal citizenship for Roma.

However, if the root cause of Roma poverty and exclusion, thus anti-Gypsyism, is not taken into account, the EU Roma Framework will fail. As long as (Roma) populism still is beneficial for local politicians to be re-elected and widespread anti-Gypsyism is still taken for granted, it means that crucial mechanisms are lacking to allow the Roma to be full citizens in their respective countries. Also, ERGO sees that only few Roma organisations are able to participate in the policy dialogue. So far, European funding (ESF) did not contribute to a strong and independent Roma Civil Society. The situation is rather such that Roma organisations either focus on providing services, they are hesitant to speak up to their governments or struggle for survival and lack human capacity. Especially on local level, Roma need to be provided expertise, resources, skills and tools to enter into a dialogue with local authorities and to create the much needed bottom-up pressure in order to make Roma policies work. ERGO believes that only then the EU Roma Framework can lead to success in 2020."

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