Roma strategies: time to put them into action
Andrey Ivanov, Senior Policy Advisor, Human Development and Roma Inclusion, UNDP Bratislava
National Roma integration strategies – which are supposed to guide and secure the process of Roma inclusion within European Union (EU) countries – have been duly submitted and diplomatically praised by the European Commission.
They are what they are, and can always be improved. Proposals have already been voiced about the need to review the strategies with a stronger role for civil society in mind.
At this point, taking more time to improve the strategies would be wrong.
The strategies are official documents submitted by governments, making them accountable for progress on Roma inclusion. “Getting serious” about Roma inclusion is related both to political will and capacities.
The work of international organizations involved in Roma inclusion and pressure from the European Commission helped to increase the political commitment on the part of national governments – adoption of the strategies is proof of their commitment.
Unlike twenty years ago, the question is not “Shall we be doing anything in regards Roma inclusion?” but rather “What to do and how to produce results?”
The strategies are a minor step in that direction. They are the starting point of a long process of implementing the strategies. The European Commission’s recent Communication on Roma issues is explicit about that (or at least as explicit as it can be):
“Member States… need stronger efforts to live up to their responsibilities, by adopting more concrete measures, explicit targets for measurable deliverables, clearly earmarked funding at national level and a sound national monitoring and evaluation system.”
Read more on http://europeandcis.undp.org/blog/2012/05/31/roma-strategies-time-to-put-them-into-action/