Our Project

Integration of Roma populations is the focus of our Roma-Net project.  The common challenge of our partnership is how to overcome negative attitudes, how to improve consultation and engagement with the Roma community.

Despite efforts at local, national and European levels Roma populations continue to face high levels of social exclusion and poverty.  Partners of the project believe that integration of Roma populations is a key factor in a cohesive society, as well as in delivering the goals of the Lisbon Strategy.

The Roma-Net partners have a united desire to share expertise and to spread good practices in the hope that it will improve local policy development and deliver capabilities for stronger community cohesion between Roma and their neighbouring communities accross the whole citiy.

An overarching objective of our partnership of nine European cities is to inform and support our City partners to develop local action plans that facilitate better services, through improved access and integrated approach, to support the social inclusion of young Roma and their transition into active adult citizens.

Change comes from step-by-step inclusive approach. As Roma-Net partners, young adults will motivate positive change and provide insight into the barriers and challenges caused by social exclusion. 

Roma

Challenges

Throughout Europe the Roma population is composed of many communities differentiated by settlement models, culture and religion, legal status, language and periods of migration.  Across Europe Roma experience greater social exclusion than the majority populations, especially in accessing employment, education, health and social services. Roma populations present high rates of illiteracy and poor school attendance of many children. Roma populations often live in segregated, isolated districts where living conditions are poor with problems of extreme overcrowding and a lack of basic facilities all of which contribute to and aggravate their poor health condition.

Key point of focus

Addressing the problems which affect Roma communities is increasingly recognised as extremely urgent in both ethical and practical terms. The European Union recognises that there is a need for more active and effective policies concerning Roma inclusion.  Local level and cities have a crucial role to play in this field.

 

The ROMA-Net project will focus on three sub-themes:

–       Active community engagement/ empowerment

–       Integrated and area based approach to tackling exclusion and segregation

–       Building a transitional labour market

A word from the lead partner

What motivates Budapest to be part of the URBACT adventure?

The city’s engagement in Roma policy dates back ten years. Our mid- and long-term urban development programmes pay special attention to regeneration and integrated urban development of areas with Roma population, we prepared a local equal opportunity action plan in 2009. The city already supports a number of initiatives and services under the sub-theme active inclusion of Roma into the labour market through education and training.   We feel that a lot can be done in other fields and that we will learn from other cities especially: how other European cities support the Roma ethnic minority in preserving their cultural identity; how to carry out an effective and feasible Roma Programme; how the mainstreaming of Roma policy into the different policies can be best done and how to apply an integrated approach and reach effective solutions by harmonising separate efforts.

Who would you like to benefit from the work achieved in your project?

First of all the whole Roma community of the City. Secondly, we hope that  the experience gained by civil servants and other players involved in designing and implementing the Local Action Plan  during the implementation of the project, will contribute to an increased knowledge and human capacity in the cities involved. We also hope that the experience gained through the trans-national exchange will lead to a real change at local level and will lead to the effective and successful integration of Roma population.