3rd Roma Summit - Brussels, 4 April 2014

On 4th of April, the European Commission organised the 3rd Roma Summit in Brussels – the first high profile meeting since the creation of the EU framework for national Roma integration strategies in 2011.

The panels included high-level representatives, including EC President Barrosso, Vice-President Reding, and Commissioners Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth), Borg (Health and Consumer Policy), as well as heads of states, members of the EU governments and parliaments, and high-profile representatives of the Roma civil society. The Council of Europe was represented by Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy of the Council of Europe.

Besides taking stock on the developments in Europe in terms of Roma integration since 2011, the Summit allowed participants to get acquainted with a new initiative being developed by the Open Society Foundations in close co-operation with the Council of Europe,  to build bridges between Roma and non-Roma as well as to  combat existing stereotypes.  Both M Soros, Founder of the Open Society Foundations and the Council of Europe representative underlined the importance in the current political and social context of the creation of such a structure – a European Roma Institute.

The joint EC/CoE Programmes ROMED and ROMACT were recognized as promising practices. Indeed, the ROMACT and ROMED Programmes were highlighted in several speeches of the panelists, among which President Barrosso and the four participating Commissioners, but also Ms Nicoleta Bitu, renowned Romni activist, and Damian Draghici, Senator in the Romanian Parliament. Moreover, around 50 mediators, members of the National Support Teams and other Roma stakeholders could participate in the Summit thanks to the financial contribution of the two joint Council of Europe and European Commission Programmes.

 The teams of the ROMED and ROMACT Programmes would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved for their confidence and support.

 For the full agenda of the event, please click here.

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