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26.04.2008A meeting of the Roma Integration Committee at the NCCEDI

 

The Roma Integration Committee (RIC) at the NCCEDI held its second meeting on April 23, 2008. It has been summoned in reference to a letter by Vice Prime Minister Emel Etem requiring the RIC to appoint 5 Roma members of the NCCEDI and 5 Roma members outside of the NCCEDI to take part in the Analytical group preparing the new Framework program. In addition, the RIC discussed also the overall mechanism for elaborating the Program.

Deyan Kolev within whose responsibilities as a Deputy Chair of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Demographic issues is the elaboration of the Framework program presented his ideas for guaranteeing the broadest involvement of the Roma community and the civil society in general in the preparation of the framework document. He proposed apart from the Analytical group required by Ms. Etem the establishment of several working groups in the different fields of the program: education, health, living conditions, protection of Roma culture, protection against discrimination, emancipation of Romani women, empowerment and participation of the Roma community, participation of local authorities. The working groups will be composed of NGOs (both members and non-members of the NCCEDI), institutions and donors. Furthermore, the proposal includes also regional discussions (at least 6 in the six planning regions) and a national discussion. “One of the biggest achievements of the present Framework program is that it involved dozens of organizations at its elaboration and now every Roma activist can perceive her/himself a co-author of the Program. It is necessary the new Framework program to be elaborated with the broadest participant so that the whole Roma community and civil society to be involved and perceive it as their own program.” – Deyan Kolev underlined. Svetlin Raykov proposed the scheme to be enlarged with including a desk review of the existing integration documents and to be accompanied by municipal discussions.

 

The Commission approved the presented scheme and the additional remarks. They will be further submitted to the Chair of the NCCEDI and the Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev.

Asen Kolev, Lili Makaveeva, Nikolay Kirilov, Svetlin Raykov and Georgi Bogdanov were elected as nomination of the RIC in the Analytical group. Regarding the NGOs which are not members of the NCCEDI 11 nominations of prominent Roma activists were made. The RIC accepted the arguments of Deyan Kolev that it did not have the moral right to restrict the participation of Roma activists or solely chose organizations outside of the NCCEDI. The final decision was to send invitations to the nominations already made, to other existing structures (as the Roma Integration Council at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy) as well as post the invitation at the web site of the NCCEDI and Roma mailing lists.

 

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