08.04.2009GERB Party presented platform for Roma integration
In the eve of International Roma Day Political Party GERB presented its political platform named “Active participation of Roma in the policy for Roma”. This happened during a round table that took place on April 7 in Sofia. The Roma experts who elaborated the platform, the Chair of GERB Tzvetan Tzvetanov, MEP Rumyana Zeleva, more than 60 representatives of Roma NGOs and GERB activists took part in the round-table.
Milen Milanov, Deyan Kolev, Lilia Makaveeva, Gancho Iliev, Valeri Lekov, Radostin Manov and Biserka Iotova did presentations of the different platform priorities. The Platform contains priority measures in certain key areas – education; living standard, supporting environment and equal opportunities; living conditions and infrastructure; health care; culture; children and youth. The presenters underlined that the measures proposed in these key areas summarize pilot models created during the previous years by NGOs and municipalities and claimed their conversion into sustainable national policy. One of the main differences that distinguish the platform from documents approved during the previous years is that it stresses the principle of active Roma participation at all decision-making levels. The Platform proposes also mechanisms for implementation of the policy. It also envisages financing for Roma integration activities.
Answering questions during the discussion Tzvetan Tzvetanov stressed that GERB takes seriously the engagement to implement Roma integration policy in partnership with the active Roma NGOs and to include Roma at all levels of government. He pointed that GERB will include Roma in the lists for MP candidates. Tzvetaniov explained also that the platform “Active participation of Roma in the policy for Roma” is an open document: everyone could make suggestions and recommendations to it.
The Platform “Active participation of Roma in the policy for Roma” followed signing a Memorandum for common intentions between GERB and leading Roma organizations on May 5, 2009. Through the Memorandum and the Platform GERB – the party that would became the first political force in the new Bulgarian Parliament according to all sociological surveys – engaged itself to work for Roma integration and for incorporating Roma in the government.