26.03.2008Session of the Council for Roma Integration in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
The first session for 2008 of the Council for Roma Integration in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy took place on March 25 in Sofia. It was chaired by the National Coordinator of the Decade of Roma Inclusion Mr. Baki Huyseinov.
Deputy-minister Huyseinov presented the results from 12th session of the International Steering Committee of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. He outlined that Bulgaria had received high rating for its integration activities. He pointed as extremely important that Spain, Bosnia and Albania had declared their will to become Decade members as well as that UNICEF also declared willingness to be partner in the initiative.
Deputy Minister Huyseinov presented the programs of MLSP included in the National Action Plan on Employment that relate closely to the Roma integration. He insisted that 45 Roma will be appointed as labour mediators in the Labour Officies, that the National Program for Literacy and Qualification of Roma will continue, etc. Ani Evgenieva – secretary of the Council – pointed that MLSP has prepared special action plan for raising the activiness of Roma community. It includes regional seminars with formal and informal Roma leaders, seminars with Roma students who graduate universities, preparing special course for mayors and city councillors about the Roma integration, and so on. MLSP will also conduct monthly monitoring of the implementation of the Decade Action Plan through collecting and summurising the information from the other ministries.
During the session new organizations were invited and approved as members: Center “Amalipe” (Veliko Turnovo), Integro (Razgrad), World without frontiers (Stara Zagora) and Hayache (Novi Pazar). Deputy Minister Hyuseinov insisted that these organizations have proved themselves as active and efficient and that they would stregthen the effective work of the Council.
Many suggestions were raised during the discussion about the Internal Regulations of the Council. George Parushev asked establishing working groups in different fields (employment, education and so on) that would have few members and would prepare opinions and positions on urgent issues. Deyan Kolev proposed all normative acts and decisions of MLSP with connections with Roma integration to be coordinated in advance with the Council. This is the only way for the Council to take real part in the decision-making process. For this purpose it is necessary to be established small expert group within the Council that could prepare expert attitudes to all documents of the MLSP.
Numerous burning issues were discussed during the session: the necessity of appointing Roma in the police, the necessity of actual statistics based on ethnicity, the necessity of renovating the Roma integration strategies, the danger for strengthening the segregation through the so-called “delegated school budgets” as well as the manace too many village schools to be closed without preliminary work with Roma parents to convince them to support the education of their children in another place, and so on.
The Council for Roma Integration is established in 2006 as consultative body that helps the activities of Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the work of the National Coordinator of the Decade of Roma Inclusion.