The Roma minority is the largest ethnic minority in Europe.
Approximately 10-12 million Roma live in Europe, approximately 68% (7.5 million) of them in countries covered by the SEE program. Despite various programs and initiatives targeting them, Roma communities in SEE are still exposed to discrimination and social exclusion.
The pre-accession and other EU funds offered several financial opportunities for SEE countries aiming at the integration of Roma and other disadvantaged groups, and tackling (mostly separately) the abovementioned main problem areas. However, these subsidies have only partially reached the target groups, or even if they reached them, long-term impact and sustainability of the results was not ensured. At the same time, while effective methods exist across the SEE area, their results and lessons learned are often not adopted by national and EU programming bodies. Successful initiatives are communicated to the policy level in an isolated way, and often do not get sufficient attention and recognition.
There is no co-ordinated dialogue between policy/programming bodies and ex-pert institutions (NGOs) implementing these innovative projects and methods, and as of today the possibilities of bottom-up programme influencing initiated by NGOs were very limited. Therefore PAIRS partners are approaching these challenges in a complementary, transnational manner, preparing concrete measures on the ground by capitalizing of each other’s experiences and know-how.
The PAIRS project aims at collecting those good examples of sectoral and local polices that have served effective inclusion of Roma communities in eight countries, and provides a platform for international exchange of knowledge and expertise in order to facilitate the inclusion of the Roma minorities throughout the region.
The treatment of Roma both in the European Union and beyond its current borders has become benchmark of human rights, and actions targeted to the inclusion of these groups. Such inclusion contributes to development because the integration of Roma can release underexploited human-social energies. PAIRS tackles a three-fold challenge goal: first, based on in-depth analysis, it gathers the successful but fragmented actions and methods for integration; second, it transfers this knowledge to the national and local level decision makers which do not reach the critical mass in order to influence national and local level policies and programming and which is not appropriately disseminated/transferred; and third, it fosters cooperation with the civil society and other stakeholders in policy design and planning in eight countries. PAIRS partners approach these goals in a comprehensive and transnational manner, and facilitate the up-scaling of working tools in the field by capitalizing on the partners’ experiences and know-how by:
- Elaborating methodologies of existing good practices and programmes in the SEE context which are effective in reaching the target group and ensure long term integration of the Roma;
- Facilitating the streamlining of lessons learned from these initiatives to the European and national level programming for a better design of Roma integration mechanisms.
PROJECT MAIN RESULTS
Existing good practices/methods of integration are identified, analyzed and disseminated in eight countries.
Elements of good practices are transferred to local and national level through action plans, thus, they contribute to a future scale-up of these solutions in all partner countries.
- Key stakeholders of Roma integration are engaged in policy dialogue and mutual learning, as a first step towards enhanced policies and evidence-based programmes in eight countries.
A common methodology for selected fields of Roma integration is elaborated.
EU and national level policy recommendations are formulated on the desirable orientation of funding programmes of 2014-2020 period.
The PAIRS network sustains the interactive knowledge ex-change and dialogue amongst practitioners even after the project lifespan.
Click HERE for Project PAIRS Newsletter 1
Click HERE for Project PAIRS Newsletter 2
Click HERE for Project PAIRS Newsletter 3