Strasbourg, 17 October 2003 MG-S-ROM (2003) 8 prov 2


MG-S-ROM (2003) 8 rev. 2

SPECIALIST GROUP ON ROMA, GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS
(MG-S-ROM)

15th meeting
Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg

24-25 March 2003

___________________________________________

FINAL REPORT TO BE APPROVED BY THE GROUP

Mr Mirga (Poland), Co-Chair of the Group, opened the meeting and welcomed all participants, particularly the Dutch and Ukrainian members who were attending the MG-S-ROM for the first time, as well as the Permanent Representative of Spain to the Council of Europe. He extended his greetings to the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe Development Bank, OSCE-ODIHR, UNHCR and UNDP, as well as to the consultants and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

The Chairman welcomed Ms Josephine Verspaget who was invited as a special guest following her resignation at the end of 2002 from her post as chair of the Group of Specialist. He thanked her for her valuable contribution to promote and defend the rights of the Roma/Gypsy populations in Europe and for the work that she accomplished as a chair of the MG-S-ROM from its creation to this day, and even before as a rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which led to the first recommendation concerning Gypsies in Europe [Parliamentary Assembly Rec. (1993) 1203].

Mr Mirga presented Ms Verspaget with a sculpture made by a Polish sculptor in the name of the Group and of the Secretariat.

Ms Verspaget thanked the chairman and all the participants for the gift they had offered her. She recalled that when she took up her duty as Chair of the Group of Specialists, it was the beginning of awareness among governments about the necessity to develop policies for the Roma and take actions to improve their situation.

The MG-S-ROM has tackled a number of issues and its work resulted in the adoption of important recommendations covering the field of education, employment, and housing. Ms Verspaget was satisfied that the issue of health has been also recently approached, as this is also a subject of great concern, particularly for Romani women and children.

She stated that the MG-S-ROM is now confronted with new challenges: getting governments implementing the Council of Europe recommendations concerning Roma. Ms Verspaget expressed her concern that the implementation of policies towards Roma was still insufficient. If Roma have obtained equal rights on paper, the practice was still often discriminatory. She pleaded for a fuller implementation of policies at the local level. There is a need for additional guidance to find sustainable solutions. She quoted the need for Roma to obtain personal documents and citizenship as an issue which still requires particular attention by the international community.

She also indicated that the MG-S-ROM should face its responsibilities and elect a strong chairperson. She proposed that a Roma be elected as the next chairperson of the Group.

Ms Verspaget warned that the Secretariat needed more financial support, staff and competence to fulfil its mission. She however expressed her disagreement and anxiety regarding the way the Secretariat had dealt with her visit to Greece and wished the Secretariat to remain more independent.

I. ADOPTION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA AND THE PREVIOUS REPORT
[MG-S-ROM (2003) OJ 15 prov.4, MG-S-ROM (2002) 20 rev.]

The Group adopted the agenda [MG-S-ROM (2003) OJ15 prov.4] and the report of its fourteenth meeting [MG-S-ROM (2002) 20 rev.].

TRAVELLERS ISSUES IN EUROPE

    a) Draft Recommendation on the free movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe

      [Consultants’ report on the Movement of Travellers in Member States (MG-S-ROM (2002) 10 rev.); draft Recommendation on the free movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe (MG-S-ROM (2002) 16 rev); German and Russian comments on the draft Recommendation (MG-S-ROM (2003) 2)]

The Chairman recalled the decision of the Group adopted in Dublin last October to circulate the draft Recommendation on the Free Movement and Encampment of Travellers to capitals for comments and informed the Group that two countries – the Russian Federation and Germany – had provided the Secretariat with written comments.
The Group took note of these comments.

Mr Laurent Keller, consultant, introduced a revised version of the initial draft Recommendation that included some but not all amendments submitted by Germany and the Russian Federation. He explained that he left out those which were either political or which would hinder the scope of the Recommendation.

The German and Russian delegates insisted that their full comments be considered in the final draft recommendation.
Ambassador De Grandes Pascual (Spain) shared the concerns of the German delegate and informed the Group that Spain would support the amendments proposed by Germany.

Mr Koundoureas (Greece) also supported the German and Russian amendments to the draft. He indicated that Greece wished to further examine this draft recommendation since there were legal and practical issues still to be addressed.

Ms Bonar (Ireland) indicated that Ireland was also preparing written comments and called for a new deadline1. Mr Douma (The Netherlands) made a similar request and expressed sympathy for the German amendments. He said that the recommendation was comprehensive and more time was needed to study all aspects.

Mr Garonne (France) underlined that France does not recognize the concept of “Traveller” as an ethnic group but as those who have not a fixed domicile. He was against inserting the term “minority” in the recommendation, as it would then have no application in France. He stressed that Travellers who were French citizens should be distinguished from the migrants and foreigners from Romania, Bulgaria, etc.

Mr Stankiewicz (IRU) pointed out the necessity to have one recommendation covering all groups, Yenish, Travellers, Roma etc. who have a nomadic life-style. He questioned whether Europe and European governments had accepted this life-style.

Mr Gheorghe (OSCE-ODIHR) made the remark that people were mixing administrative categories and that the Group never discussed explicitly the issue from the angle of cultural identity. He pled for a debate on Romani cultures and traditions.

The Chairman fixed 30 April as a new deadline for governments to send written comments to the Secretariat on the draft recommendation on free movement and encampment of Travellers.

b) Study on the social and economic rights of nomadic populations

      [Draft outline for a study on the social and economic rights of nomadic populations (MG-S-ROM (2002) 17); draft questionnaire on social rights of nomadic populations (MG-S-ROM (2003) 1)]

The Chairman informed the Group that a draft questionnaire on the social rights of nomadic populations [MG-S-ROM (2003) 1] was circulated to the Group for approval.

The Greek delegate pointed out that some states might have difficulties to provide a reply to some questions because of data protection legislation.

Mr. Kawczynski (RNC) made the observation that “etc.” in the title of the questionnaire should be either deleted or precised. He also asked about the meaning of “Travellers”.

Mr May Bittel (representative of Sinti in Switzerland) objected the use of the word “nomade” in French as it was pejorative and proposed “itinérant” instead.

The Group approved the questionnaire and authorized the consultants to forward it to member states and to pursue the study on the social and economic rights of nomadic populations (in French “populations itinérantes”).

III. FINNISH INITIATIVE REGARDING THE SETTING-UP OF A EUROPEAN ROMA FORUM [GT-ROMS (2003) 1; GT-ROMS (2003) 2; GT-ROMS (2003) 4 and GT-ROMS (2003) 5]

Ambassador Anne-Marie Nyroos, Permanent Representative of Finland to the Council of Europe and Chair of the Working Group entrusted with studying the question of a possible Forum for Roma and Travellers (GT-ROMS) informed the Group of recent development concerning the Finnish initiative at the level of the Committee of Ministers.

She recalled that the initiative came from the President of Finland, Ms Tarja Halonen, and that the initiative was now discussed at the level of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, more precisely within a Working Party called GT-ROMS which was set up under the Rapporteur Group of the Committee of Ministers on Social Issues and Health (GR-SOC). The first meeting of the GT-ROMS was held in March and the next meeting was planned for May, on the occasion of which there would be the first public hearings, essential for the work of the Working Party.

The Group took note of the document GT-ROMS (2003) 4 “Chronological description of events concerning the possible setting-up of a forum for Roma and Travellers”, as well as of information provided by Ambassador Nyroos on the history of the Finnish initiative.

After nine months and five meetings the fairly detailed proposals and recommendations of the exploratory group were submitted to the Committee of Ministers in October 2002, which decided to transmit the proposal to the GR-SOC for consideration. Soon after the MG-S-ROM received these recommendations at its 14th meeting in Dublin and on October 21st a seminar on Roma participation was held in Strasbourg.

At its 111th session in November 2002 the Committee of Ministers in a communiqué noted with interest the Finnish initiative and invited their Deputies to consider this issue, bearing in mind its topical nature. The GR-SOC met in December 2002 and expressed itself in favour of setting-up an open ended Working Party to examine the various issues.

In January 2003 the terms of reference of the Working Party were adopted, as well as a non-exhaustive list of issues to be discussed. One of the preliminary questions the GT-ROMS should examine was whether the proposal was compatible with the principles of non-discrimination as contained in Article 14 of the European Convention for Human Rights. At the first meeting of the GT-ROMS the Deputy Secretary General gave a statement concerning this issue and the Secretariat is now preparing a study on the question.

The Working Party would also examine existing structures of Roma participation at national level. A questionnaire was sent to member states [GT-ROMS (2003) 2].

The GT-ROM will organise hearings, both with international organisations and existing bodies at the Council of Europe dealing with Roma issues – including the MG-S-ROM, and with Roma and Travellers themselves.

She concluded her presentation highlighting the importance of the MG-S-ROM’s expertise and that the opinion of the Group was not only welcome but necessary in the examination phase. She considers that, should a forum be established under the Council of Europe, the workload of the MG-S-ROM would increase. She also underlined that there was no set model for the forum and that the recommendations of the exploratory group formed one option to serve as fruit for thought. Other options are also welcome.

The Chairman opened the floor for discussion remaining the Group that the MG-S-ROM was asked by the Committee of Ministers to have a standing point on this issue in order to reply to the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1557 (2002) on the Legal Situation of Roma in Europe. He added that Ms Josephine Verspaget had said in Helsinki in October 2001 that the MG-S-ROM’s attitude towards this initiative was that it has to be thoroughly examined. There has been so far no clear acceptation by the Group on the establishment of such a forum.

Mr Mirga welcomed the GT-ROMS initiative to inquire whether Roma have sufficient opportunity to voice their views in existing structures at local and national levels (re: a questionnaire sent to member states [GT-ROMS (2003) 2]).He underlined also a need to address and debate a number of issues that were still unclear, such as: Whether it is feasible to have such a body legally fixed within the structure of the intergovernmental body of the Council of Europe? What status it can have – whether it can be independent within the Council of Europe or consultative? What size it can have and whether there will be a will to finance it by Council of Europe member states? And whether religious denominations should be represented in such a body?

Mr Kawczynski (RNC) urged the governments to take stance towards the Finnish proposal. He recalled that Roma tie with this proposal certain hopes that it will bring some real changes in the situation of Roma. He said the European Roma Forum is a process which shall enable Roma to have a space to express themselves at European level. He added that the initiative itself already contributed positively to a greater unity among Romani organisations, IRU and RNC in particular, and that the compromise reached about the objectives and the composition of such a forum has been one of the major achievements of the last thirty years. Mr Kawczynski also expressed his concern that bodies dealing with Roma issues are too often composed of persons who have not received any clear mandate by the Roma themselves to represent their interests.

Ms Post (IRWN) also supported the Finnish initiative as it could provide a space for Roma’s voice to be heard. She however questioned the member states’ real willingness to hear the voice of the Roma. She agreed with Mr Kawzynski that a change should be introduced in the practice of having the majority exclusively deciding about Roma issues.

Mr Stankiewicz (IRU) added that noone could offer oneself the luxury to by-pass such an initiative. He joined previous speakers in saying that states have to show their political will to let Roma participate in decision-making processes at all levels, and that Romani expertise should be taken in consideration when dealing with Roma issues.

Referring to the proposal made by the informal exploratory group in charge of addressing the issue of setting up a European Roma forum, Mr Lakatos (Hungary) indicated that the composition of such a forum should not be too large, as it will not increase efficiency. He proposed that countries that have a large Roma population get more representatives, i.e. to introduce the issue of proportionality.

Mr Kristof (Czech Republic) recalled that about 13,000 Roma are living in the Czech Republic according to official data while NGOs estimate this number to exceed 200,000. In the Czech Republic about 270 Roma NGOs are registered. Mr Kristof said that 90% of these NGOs had no information at all concerning the European Roma Forum and that he had received complaints by a number of those who felt they had not been consulted. Mr Kristof also mentioned that some countries had a negative experience with Roma participation and co-operation in various bodies that exist at inter-governmental and national levels. Referring to the proposal made by the informal exploratory group, Mr Kristof shared the opinion that countries with large Romani communities need to get more seats. He insisted that governments should not get involved in defining who is a Roma and who is not. Mr Kristof also expressed criticism concerning a lack of transparency on behalf of the Council of Europe Secretariat concerning this initiative, though he considered the work on the initiative itself very interesting.

Spanish Ambassador De Grandes Pascual considered it was important to maintain a constant exchange of information between the GT-ROMS and the MG-S-ROM on this issue. He pleaded for a strong involvement of governments in these matters. Gypsy people wanted to express legitimate concerns but it was in the hands of the governments to find solutions that could satisfy all partners. He added that in Spain there were many Gypsy groups (Gitanos) and a real need for stronger coordination amongst them.

Mr Hero (Slovakia) underlined that this initiative was very useful and positive as it gave the Roma the responsibility to take their destiny in their own hands. He pointed out the problematic issue of financing such a forum, however emphasizing that it could save money in the long-term as it may contribute to a better response to the needs of the Roma. In order to solve Roma problems, Mr Hero suggested that such a structure should be able to manage European funds.

Following the previous intervention, Mr Kristof proposed that the GT-ROMS should study this possibility, particularly for infrastructure projects, taking into account existing funds in some countries or at the international level.

Mr Kawzcynski (RNC) underlined that the European Roma Forum would not solve all the problems and states will still be responsible for solving a number of these problems at national level. He added that the Roma do not want any Roma state or parliament but participation in decision-making. He recalled RNC’s proposal to create a European Roma Charter to secure basic rights for the Roma at European level. Although they have been leaving in Europe for several centuries, the Roma are still denied any participatory role and are even less protected than animals at national and European levels, he said.

Both the representatives of the OSCE Presidency, Mr Jos Douma, and the representative of ODIHR, Mr Nicolae Gheorghe, underlined that their organisations are part of the process and both are supporting the Finnish initiative. They recalled that that the ODIHR Working Group for the Action Plan for Roma and Sinti Population chaired by Ambassador Livio Bota from Romania took stand for the establishment of a European Roma forum. Mr Gheorghe added that not only international organisations and governments should take responsibility but the Roma themselves should involve and consult grass-root levels. Mr Gheorghe (ODIHR) recalled that his organisation was open to co-operation and that modalities of such a co-operation could be suggested by the GT-ROMS.

Mr Gheorghe (Romania) pointed out the importance that Roma political parties are involved in the process of establishing a European Roma Forum.

Following the intervention by the Romanian delegate, the Chairman recalled that there were indeed various existing structures with Roma elected MPs and those individuals who have a legitimacy should have the possibility to be heard.

Mr Claudio Marta (Italy) asked whether the Council of Europe as a whole was supporting the Finnish initiative.

Responding to the concerns of some members of the Group about the legal status of such a forum, the Chairman invited Mr Patrick Titiun from DG Legal Affairs to advise the Group on this issue.

Mr Titiun informed the Group that there was no clear answer yet concerning the legal status of a possible forum since the GT-ROMs had just started its work. Among existing models there was the possibility of using the consultative status of NGOs to the Council of Europe which would shortly be modified to enhance more active participation. Another option could be the experience of the Joint Council on Youth Issues which is a co-decision body bringing the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ2) composed of representatives of ministries or bodies responsible for youth matters from the 48 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention together with the 30 representatives of non-governmental youth organisations an networks which compose a so-called Advisory Council.

The Chairman concluded that the MG-S-ROM was interested in addressing the issue of a possible European Roma forum and pleaded for a constant flow of information between the GT-ROMS and the MG-S-ROM. He added that the modalities of co-operation had to be defined by the GT-ROMS. He felt that the Group should wait until the GT-ROMS has advanced in its work before giving its opinion.

Ambassador Nyroos pointed out that it was not necessary for the MG-S-ROM to wait until the work of the GT-ROMS finishes before it gives its opinion on a European Roma forum. She also pointed out that this was not the intention of states to define who is a Roma and who is not since she believes that it is the right of each individual to define his/her ethnic belonging.

The Group proposed to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss in depth the issue of a European Roma forum.

IV. ROMA AND HEALTH ISSUES

    a) Health chapter of the Draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies in Europe

[Draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies (MG-S-ROM (2002) 3 rev – 2); German comments to the draft Recommendation (MG-S-ROM (2003) 3); draft Recommendation on health issue (MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov)]

The Secretariat recalled the Group’s decision in Dublin to add two new chapters, health and culture3, to the draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies which already contain chapters on education, employment and housing.

A preliminary draft recommendation on access to health care was available to the Group in English. This was the result of the discussions of an ad hoc working group composed of representatives of Roma and Travellers4 – in majority women, as well as experts, including MG-S-ROM members. The ad hoc working group met in Strasbourg on 4-5 February and was chaired by Ms Josephine Verspaget. The Secretariat pointed out that the first part of the draft recommendation on health (preamble) was added by the Secretariat since the ad hoc working group met.

Since it would take some time to have a general policy recommendation adopted, the opinion of the Chairman, the Secretariat and the ad hoc working group was to adopt a separate recommendation on health and at a later stage incorporate those recommendations into the general one – as was the case with the recommendations on education, employment and housing.

The Secretariat said that this first draft would be further discussed in a second ad hoc working group in the light of the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference on Roma and Access to Health to be held in Strasbourg at the end of May5. A new ad hoc working group might be called again to discuss a revised version of the draft recommendation before the October session of the MG-S-ROM.

The Chairman opened the floor for comments and questions.

Mr Kristof (Czech Republic) asked for clarification concerning “more equal partnership” contained in the meeting report of the Vienna Conference from October 2002. He felt the recommendation was too general. Moreover, governments would oppose the inclusion of monitoring in the text of the recommendation itself.

Mr Nicolae Gheorghe from ODIHR questioned the fact that the draft recommendation was pointing out a Finnish report in its preamble and asked whether other reports should not be mentioned as well. He said that that it was necessary to go beyond recommendations and adopt a plan of actions.

Ms Vuolasranta from the Secretariat explained that the Finnish report quoted in the draft recommendation was mentioned as a positive example and a reference during the meeting.

The Chairman proposed that member states should examine the draft recommendation on health and provide the Secretariat with any preliminary comments before the next session of the MG-S-ROM.

Joint CoE/EUMC/OSCE-HCNM Project “Roma/Gypsy Women and Access to Public Health Care”
[Vienna 28-29 November Meeting report; Strasbourg 3-4 February Meeting report]

The Secretariat briefly informed the Group that the meeting report of the Meeting of Romani Women in Vienna on Access to Health Care (28-29 November 2002) had been distributed. The meeting was organised by the European Monitoring Centre (EUMC) in the framework of the joint Council of Europe/OPSCE-HCNM-EUMC project on Roma Women and Access to Health Care. Health issues were discussed among Romani women and one of the conclusions of the Meeting was to establish an international Romani Women network, which could focus inter alia on health issues. Early February the Council of Europe organised a meeting with some of the Romani women present in Vienna. The latter set up the International Romani Women Network, adopted its terms of reference and elected its president (Ms Soraya Post, Sweden), and the bureau. The Secretariat also recalled the Group that an International Conference on Romani Women and Access to Health Care will be organised in Strasbourg under the aforementioned project t o discuss the report prepared by Ms Ana Pomykaka, project consultant, following her fact-finding visit in 15 European countries.

Presentation by Ms Ina Zoon based on the report of the Center for Reproductive Rights on coerced or forced sterilisation of Roma women

The chairperson gave the floor to Ms Ina Zoon to give a general overview of the conclusions of the report “Body and Soul” of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York and Poradna, Kosice on coerced or forced sterilisation of Roma women. He recalled that this report had been made widely public both in Europe and elsewhere. It was therefore useful for the Group to have a presentation of the findings. The Chair also invited the Slovak delegation and Ambassador Lamperova, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the Council of Europe to give her view on the matter.

Ms Ina Zoon first recalled the fact findings (11 hospitals in Eastern Slovakia visited and 40 Roma settlements out of 616). She then noted that out of 230 interviews with Romani women, 110 women alleged being sterilized since 1989. She also described instances of racial segregation in maternity yards, physical and psychological abuses of Romani women and discrimination in health care facilities.

Concerning the immediate reaction of the Slovak authorities after the publication of the report, Ms Zoon informed the group that the Department of Human Rights asked the general prosecutor to initiate an investigation on acts against body integrity and damage to health (221-224 of Slovak Criminal Code). The Department also asked an investigation against the human rights lawyers who published the report “Body and Soul”: if the facts reported will be proven true then they will be prosecuted for failing to provide information about a criminal offence to the authorities in an earlier stage of the process. In the contrary case, they will be prosecuted for “spreading rumours”. She characterised the response as “inappropriate and unfortunate”.

Apart from the criminal investigation, the Slovak authorities also initiated an administrative inquiry. A preliminary report of the Ministry of Health was distributed to the Group. Ms Zoon expressed satisfaction with the existing initiatives, but qualified as problematic the fact that investigating authorities switched from bodily integrity to genocide. She also questioned the impartiality of medical experts and methods used, referring to intimidation and violations of the right for private life of the Romani women. She also qualified the scope of the administrative inquiry (only two hospitals and only for a three years period: 1999-2002) as “totally inadequate”.

In conclusion she informed the Group that two individual criminal complaints had been filed to the court and ten Romani women had become civil parts in the criminal trials.

She stressed the need for an independent investigation commission, following the model proposed by Sweden, which would include independent experts, representatives of civil society and Romani women, to put historical light on the facts and provide effective remedies to the victims.

Ambassador Lamperova, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Government to the Council of Europe, while recognising this was a sensitive and painful subject for her as a woman and a human rights defender, expressly condemned the procedure which had been used by the authors of the report “Body and Soul”, which tarnished the image of Slovakia. She considered accusations of genocide as totally unjustified and referred to the report of the two medical independent experts6 who - after examining medical documentation within the criminal procedure - concluded that they did not find any violation of the law or medical ethics. Ambassador Lamperova asked the Group to be given at the next regular session of the MG-S-ROM a right of response to Ms Zoon’s accusations, once the police investigation will have come up with conclusions.

Ms Soraya Post informed the Group that the International Romani Women Network (IRWN) had addressed an open letter to the Slovak Government asking that justice is being made and compensation allocated to the Romani victims. She recalled that sterilisation practice took place in Sweden and other Nordic countries in the past and that Governments of these countries had found appropriate measures to address those issues.

Ms Sylvia Dunn (United Kingdom) urged the Slovak Government to do its best to help the Romani victims and to ensure that this practice stops. She also expressed her concern about reported attempts to intimidate Roma women during the government’s investigations.

Mr Peter Osko (Hungary) asked European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) to give further explanation about statements published and distributed to the Group concerning alleged sterilisation cases in the Czech Republic and Hungary7.

Ms Josephine Verspaget, in reply to Ambassador Lamperova’s intervention, said that she had carefully read the report “Body and Soul” and found no trace of accusation of genocide. This term was only used in the report when referred to the United Nations Convention on the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Chair thanked Mrs Zoon and Ambassador Lamperova for her interventions. The Group agreed that Slovakia will be given the rights to respond to the accusations about sterilisation at a next session of the MG-S-ROM.

V. INTERNATIONAL INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Information on the Joint CoE/EC/OSCE-ODIHR Project “Roma under the Stability Pact”

Mr Nicolae Gheorghe (ODIHR) and the Secretariat briefly recalled that the first joint EC/CoE/OSCE-ODIHR programme on Roma under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe has just finished. The Council of Europe hold an evaluation meeting of its own activities under this Project at the end of September 2002, while the ODIHR hold a similar event in Bucharest on 7-9 February. A new joint Programme has just been concluded with the European Commission for a two-year period (2003/2004). The ODIHR will focus its action on the participation of Roma in elections both as voters and candidates. The Council of Europe will continue working on policies towards Roma with a particular focus on the implementation of national comprehensive strategies at the local level.

Information about the fact-finding visit to Serbia and Montenegro

Mr Simon Tonelli from the Secretariat of the Migration and Roma/Gypsies Department informed the Group about a visit organised by a Council of Europe delegation to Serbia and Montenegro on 15-20 February to assess the situation of Roma who have been forcibly returned to Serbia and Montenegro, from Germany in particular. He recalled that the delegation was composed of members of the Parliamentary Assembly, as well as of two members present at the MG-S-ROM, Ms Verspaget and Mr Kawczynski. He further mentioned that the rapporteur of this delegation, Mr Alan Phillips, former First Vice-President of the Advisory Committee on the framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, has produced a report, which raises concerns about the conditions in which these persons are returned and about the consequences of a massive return in Serbia and Montenegro where the integration of Roma and their access to public facilities are not fully guaranteed. The report includes inter alia a number of recommendations to European (mostly Western) governments which have signed or even started implementing bilateral re-admission agreements with Serbia and Montenegro. The governments mentioned in this report will be given a possibility to comment the report during a meeting to be organised by the Council of Europe before the summer.

c. Information on the Joint Programme of Activities with the UNHCR

Ms Pascale Moreau informed the Group that UNHCR has undertaken a wide range of activities related to Roma in a variety of Council of Europe member states, but most particularly in the Balkans which hosts the majority of Roma who are of direct concern to the office, i.e. refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees.

In “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, UNHCR focuses on the provision of humanitarian assistance, protection advocacy for THAP extension and negotiation with authorities for a longer-term status.

In the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, our main activities include the provision of humanitarian assistance, legal assistance for citizenship/documentation issues, and protection advocacy and expertise for the development and implementation of a national strategy.

In Kosovo, UNHCR works essentially toward the creation of conditions conducive for return and the protection of minorities, while in Bosnia-Herzegovina, main activities focus on the protection and legal assistance.

All of the above activities are conducted in close coordination with national authorities and other concerned partners, most particularly the Roma communities themselves.

In January 2003, UNHCR issued an updated position on "the continued need of protection of individuals from Kosovo" which essentially focuses on the situation of minorities and continues to oppose the forced or induced return of minorities to Kosovo. The 10th UNHCR/OSCE Report on the Situation of Ethnic Minorities (issued in March 2003) should also be consulted for more detailed information on living conditions of these populations in Kosovo.

Ms Pascale Moreau also informed the Group that UNHCR had appointed a new UNHCR Roma Focal Point for the Balkans who is located in Belgrade - Ms. Isabelle Mihoubi.

She also gave a brief overview of the 2003 joint CoE/UNHCR programme of activities in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro.

d. Information on the OSCE Action Plan of Targeted Activities for Roma and Sinti

Mr Nicolae Gheorghe (ODIHR) mentioned that his organisation is having a critical approach towards what has been achieved over the past 12 years in the field of Roma and Sinti. He noted that although everyone is talking about co-operation, such a co-operation does not exist. He also called for more evaluation. He pointed out that the ODIHR Action Plan could function as a mean to evaluate results and reach better co-ordination. He highlighted a number of issues to be addressed in the Action Plan such as the situation in the Balkans, the integration or return of Roma refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the participation of Roma in elections, the democratic process in national states, etc.

Mr Jos Douma (OSCE Dutch Chairmanship) added to Mr Gheorghe’s intervention that the Action Plan will also consider measures related to the EU Council Directive 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. He recalled that current and future member states should comply with this Directive by 19 July 2003. He also underlined that states have to include formally elected Roma in their own delegations to the European Parliament or to the Parliamentary Assembly.

Intervention by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

Mr Andrey Ivanov referred to the recent UNDP publication “Avoiding the Dependency Trap” which pictures the situation of Roma in five Central and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia) in the fields of education, housing, health, household income, political participation and social inclusion. This regional human development report also provides qualitative and quantitative statistical information. The report can be downloaded from UNDP web site: http://www.undp.sk . This report has been planned as being an initial starting point of a wider project. The broader and more ambitious objective is to encourage the debate and exchange of information on the issue, to merge different organisations’ efforts where possible and to bring about real change in human development opportunities for marginalized communities of which Roma are the most numerous. UNDP is now envisaging a similar project to monitor the situation of Roma in the Balkans.

f. Intervention about the Greek Presidency of the EU

No intervention under this item.

g. Intervention by the Council of Europe Development Bank

Mr Nicola Catalano briefly recalled the role of the Council of Europe Development Bank, which extends long term loans and guarantees to member states and local authorities for the financing of social projects, a number of them focusing on Roma. He also referred to the joint programme between the Council of Europe Development and the Council of Europe Directorate General of Social Cohesion, which supports community development projects. It gives particular attention to accompanying measures, eligibility criteria and consultation with Roma beneficiaries. Mr Catalano mentioned recent developments concerning projects in Sofia and Plovdiv (Bulgaria), as well as other projects in Central Europe. An exceptional grant of $ 450,000 to finance a project aiming to improve access to formal and non-formal education for Roma children in “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is about to be accepted.

VI. VISITS TO MEMBER STATES

Presentations concerning countries recently visited (or which will be visited this year) by other sectors of the Council of Europe and identification of priority areas
[MG-S-ROM (2003) 5]

Intervention by the Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Mr Giancarlo Cardinale from the Secretariat of ECRI indicated that the second round of country-by-country approach is about to be completed with the publication of twelve new reports [see MG-S-ROM (2003) 5]. In three weeks time a new round of country-by-country approach will start which foresees the monitoring of nine member states per year. This new round of reports will monitor more precisely the implementation of ECRI’s recommendations.

Intervention by the Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Mr Alain Chablais mentioned countries recently visited by the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Sweden, Switzerland and Lithuania) or to be soon visited (Ireland, Azerbaijan and Poland). A visit to Slovakia is also envisaged in 2003 pending on the agreement of the Slovak authorities. He also recalled those countries for which the Advisory Committee has recently adopted an opinion on the state report (Austria, Ukraine, Norway, and Albania). Opinions on Switzerland, Sweden and Lithuania are not yet public.

Intervention by the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms Satu Suikkari indicated that the Commissioner for Human Rights’ most recent visit was in the Czech Republic in late February. The press release was explicitely referring to education of Roma children. Romania and Bulgaria were visited in late 2002. In most countries visited Roma issues are addressed by the Commissioner. His Office is currently preparing a thematic report on Roma. It does not cover all European countries but will include a number of recommendations to member states particular in the areas where the most frequent cases of discrimination have been noticed, i.e. denial of access to basic services, prohibition to enter public places, housing and education. The Commissioner for Human Rights has been also very much concerned by the allegations of forced sterilisation of Roma women in Slovakia and is in contact with the Slovak authorities on this issue.

Intervention by the Coordinator for Activities concerning Roma/Gypsies

Mr Henry Scicluna informed the Group about his soon retirement as the Head the Migration and Roma/Gypsies Department. The Secretary General has however offered him to remain the Council of Europe Co-ordinator for Roma/Gypsies activities. He accepted to fulfil this position on a voluntary basis. Mr Scicluna referred to his recent visit made to Bulgaria for a meeting on the National Roma Health Strategy organised by the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. He indicated that there have been some positive examples of doctors who are regularly visiting Roma settlements on their own initiative. Such practices should be encouraged.

Discussion on the choice of two to three member states to be visited in 2003

Member of the Group proposed Slovakia and Germany to be the first countries to be visited, bearing in mind on the one hand the issue of sterilisation, and on the other hand the issue of forced return of Roma and re-admission agreements.

The Group agreed that Slovakia and Germany should be the two first countries to be visited according to its new terms of reference.

VII. THEMES CHOSEN FOR THE 2003 WORK PROGRAMME

Discussion on the implementation of policies for Roma at the local level

Intervention by the Congress for Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)

Mr Claudio Marta expressed his regret that no representative of CLRAE was present at the meeting and underlined that this was not the first time. He asked the Secretariat to ensure that the CLRAE will be present at the next meeting of the MG-S-ROM as the Group considers of high importance its co-operation with CLRAE on Roma issues.

Intervention by Project on Ethnic Relations (PER)

Ms Livia Plaks, Executive Director of PER, recalled that the Project on Ethnic Relations was at the forefront of the work on Roma issues in Central an Eastern Europe twelve years ago. Mrs Plaks recalled that decentralisation of state powers and administration has been part of the process of transformation since the fall of communism. She insisted on the need to ensure implementation of policies at local level bearing in mind that local authorities act primarily as servants not of the state, but of the local public. Romani representatives should bear more responsibility for decisions and solutions to their problems at the local level, preferably, as part of elected bodies and administration, she said. She quoted some positive examples, in Nis (Serbia and Montenegro), Lom (Bulgaria) or Shuto Orizari (“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”). She highlighted that awareness of both cultural diversity and tolerance are the main policies of public policy and suggested a number of recommendations, such as:
implementation of legislation to improve the legal position and protection of Romani rights;
encouraging greater participation in institutions of local self-government and in the democratic processes overall
Encouraging local authorities to include the Roma in decision-making processes
Municipal budgets should contain line items dedicated to promoting the welfare of the Romani community.
PER will organise a number of activities in 2003 focusing inter alia on the promotion of the partnership between local authorities and Roma, as well as activities targeting Roma youth.

b) Discussion on Romani cultures and languages

The Chairman recalled that at its last meeting in Dublin, the Group required to include a specific chapter on Romani culture in the draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies [MG-S-ROM (2002) 3 rev 2] and create a working group to draft recommendations. The Chairman however advised the Group not to start discussing this very controversial and complex topic in the context of the draft recommendation as it could only delay its adoption.

Ms Miranda Vuolasranta from the Secretariat recalled that the language and identity is very important for Roma because of assimilation. Education results sometimes in assimilation. The Romani language is endangered and it is the duty of the States, and the boards of education for example, to ensure its survival. She also referred to the Council of Europe pluri-annual Roma Education project carried out by DG IV in partnership with the Migrations and Roma/Gypsies Department, which aims at implementing Council of Europe Recommendation (2000) 4 on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe. One of the subjects to be treated under this project is the harmonisation of teaching materials in Romani language. A meeting to launch co-operation between ministries and Roma experts will place in Strasbourg on 26-27 May.

Mr Claudio Marta (Italy) asked that the issue of Romani language should be put on the agenda of future MG-S-ROM meetings as one of its priorities.

Mr Andrey Ivanov (UNDP) warned the Group not to mix the issue of Romani culture in general curricula with the teaching of the Romani language.

Mr Stankiewicz (IRU) recalled that the Romani language is a basic element of Roma identity in most European countries.

Mr Nicolae Gheorghe (ODIHR) underlined that the time has come for the MG-S-ROM to hold a reflection on identities of Roma and related groups and to clearly define the scope of international organisations’ activities. He called for a specific working group on this issue.

The Secretariat took note of this proposal but rather suggested to the Group to participate in a Seminar on Cultural Identities of Roma, Travellers and related groups to be held in September where representatives of the main ethnic groups related to Roma and Travellers will present the main characteristics of their cultural identity, linguistic and religious affiliation.

The Group accepted to participate in a Seminar on Cultural identities to be organised in September.

c) Discussion on Trends towards re-nomadisation of certain Roma communities

The Chairman informed the Group that this topic would be further discussed at the joint meeting with the CDMG.

VIII. EXAMINATION OF THE DRAFT REPLY TO THE RECOMMENDATION 1557 (2002) OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
[Draft reply to Recommendation 1557(2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the legal situation of the Roma in Europe]

Mr Scicluna from the Secretariat recalled that the Committee of Ministers extended the deadline for the Group to give a draft reply to the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1557 (2002). He presented to the Group a text for its comments.

Ms Kathleen Bonar (Ireland) indicated that her authorities were not in favour of the proposal concerning the establisment of a European ombudsman or mediator for Roma.

Mr Gerard De Boer from the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands proposed to adopt the draft reply as it was presented by the Secretariat.

Ms Alexandra Raykova proposed to modify the text concerning the training centre and to include a reference of the work of the International Roma Youth Forum (FERYP).

In response to this proposal the Chair proposed not to use the term ‘forum’ as it may create confusion with the European Roma forum.

The Group asked the Secretariat to include in its draft reply proposal the few amendments proposed (please see appendix 1).

IX. INFORMATION ABOUT/FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

Information about the Unification Congress of the Roma Communities of the CIS and the Baltic Countries – AREA (Smolensk, 31 Jan.-2 Feb. 2003)

Mr Sergey Tolkalin (Russian Federation) informed the Group about the recent Congress held in Smolensk which inaugurated the creation of a regional network named AREA composed of Roma representatives from the CIS and the Baltic States. The President of AREA was invited to the MG-S-ROM but could not attend.

b) Information about the creation of the International Roma Women’s Network

Ms Soraya Post (Sweden) informed the Group about the recent establishment of the International Roma Women’s Network (IRWN) following a meeting of Roma women organised by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in February. Ms Post was elected the president of this network. Other members of the Bureau were also elected and the terms of reference of this network were adopted.

c) Information about the registration of FERYP as an international Roma Youth Organisation

Ms Alexandra Raykova (Bulgaria), President of FERYP, announced to the Group the recent registration of FERYP, and International Roma Youth Organisation. She presented the members of the Bureau who had just been established. A general assembly meeting shall take place later this year. As usual FERYP will organise a training of young Roma on leadership during springtime.

X. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEXT MEETING

Date and place

The Chairman proposed, following informal talks with the Slovak delegation, that the next MG-S-ROM meeting takes place in Slovakia, provided the Slovak authorities confirm their intention to host the Group’s meeting8.

Organisations and experts to be invited

The chairperson invited the member of the Group to propose the names of Roma organisations or experts to be invited at the next meeting, taking into account the topics which will be discussed on the agenda.

Information about the afternoon session (internal meeting of the MG-S-ROM)

The Secretariat informed the Group about the procedure to be followed for the internal meeting aimed inter alia at electing a new chair and vice–chair for the Group. All members present were invited to attend the afternoon session but only governmental representatives would have the right to participate in the election.

INTERNAL MEETING OF THE MG-S-ROM9

XI. WORKING METHODS AND ROTATION OF THE GROUP’S CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
[Revised draft terms of reference of the Group MG-S-ROM (2002) 9; Resolution (76) 3]

This would be the subject of a separate document to be appended to the present report.

XII. JOINT MEETING WITH THE CDMG

This would be the subject of a separate document to be appended to the present report.

* * * * *

Appendix 1

Strasbourg, 10 April 2003
Draft opinion on
P.A. Recommendation 1557 (2002)

Draft Opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1557 (2002)
on the legal situation of the Roma in Europe
 

The Committee of Ministers shares the view of the Assembly that the Council of Europe can and must play an important role in improving the general situation of the Roma, Gypsies and Travellers and their living conditions.
The work of the Group of Specialists on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (MG-S-ROM) composed of governmental experts and representatives of Roma organisations, has, from its creation largely responded to this concern.
The Council of Europe’s Coordinator for Roma/Gypsies contributes towards the achievement of these objectives.
The Committee of Ministers, however, agrees with the Assembly Recommendation on the need to improve, speed up and harmonise all the efforts towards a better integration of Roma, Gypsies and Travellers into society and improve their present situation.
 
With regard to 16 i
 
The Committee of Ministers notes that the Assembly Recommendation supports the initiative of setting up a European Roma consultative forum. The Committee of Ministers has at its 111th session on 7 November 2002 “noted with interest the Finnish initiative concerning a ‘European Forum for Roma’ and invited their Deputies to continue considering this issue, bearing in mind its topical nature, with a view to determining suitable follow-up.” It has now set up a Working Party with the task of examining the question of a possible forum for Roma and Travellers.

With regard to 16 ii
 
The Committee of Ministers is aware that the Parliamentary Assembly has already in the past recommended appointing an ombudsman (Rec.1203 (1993) on Gypsies in Europe) or a mediator for Gypsies (Rec. 1275 (1995) on the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and intolerance). In reply to the latter recommendation, the Committee of Ministers at the 560th meeting of its Deputies in March 1996, drew the Assembly’s attention to its reply to Recommendation 1203 (1993) “in which it recalled that a Coordinator on Roma/Gypsies responsible for various questions relating to Roma/Gypsies has been designated by the Secretary General, but that it has not seen fit to act on the proposal concerning the appointment of a mediator for Roma/Gypsies.”

The Committee of Ministers follows carefully the activities of the various monitoring instruments which might take into account the situation of the Roma - the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, and the Office of the Commissioner for Human rights. The Committee of Ministers being aware of those monitoring instruments may further examine whether there is a need of strengthening existing bodies or setting up new mechanisms within the Council of Europe.

With regard to 16 iii
 
The European Youth Centre has in the past regularly organised specific training sessions for young Roma. This training should be relaunched and complemented by activities permitting the exchange of experiences on the integration of Roma, Gypsies and Travellers at all levels and by the coordination of trainings addressed to Romani and majority specialists.
 
With regard to 16 iv
  
A Finnish Roma lady seconded by the Finnish Government currently works in the Migration and Roma/Gypsies Department.
Two young Roma –a male and a female- undergo a 3-month traineeship every quarter.
 
 With regard to 16 v
 
The Committee of Ministers favours the idea of a European Solidarity Fund for Roma to be financed by voluntary contributions, provided clear guidelines exist on the initiatives that are to be funded.
 
With regard to 16 vi
 
In replying to Assembly Recommendation 1492 (2001) on the rights of national minorities the Committee of Ministers, at its 799th meeting of its Deputies in June 2002, considered that it was somewhat premature to reopen the debate on the proposal for an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the rights of national minorities. It stressed that “when Protocol No 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights comes into force, any discrimination against a member of a national minority, including discrimination based on association with such a minority, will be covered by the general prohibition on discrimination.”
 
With regard to 16 vii
 
See reply under 16 ii above.

Appendix 2

FINAL AGENDA

Monday, 24 March, from 9h30 to 10h00

I. ADOPTION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA AND THE PREVIOUS REPORT
[MG-S-ROM (2003) OJ 15 prov.4, , MG-S-ROM (2002) 20 rev.]

    The Group is invited to adopt the agenda for the meeting and the report of its fourteenth meeting [MG-S-ROM (2002) 20 rev.].

    Mrs J. VERSPAGET resigned from her post as chair of the Group of Specialists which she had filled since the creation of the Group, with effect from 31 December 2002.
    The Secretariat and the Group would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her valuable contribution to promote and defend the rights of Roma/Gypsies populations in Europe and for the work done for the last seven years by the MG-S-ROM.

from 10h00 to 11h00

TRAVELLERS ISSUES IN EUROPE
Draft Recommendation on the free movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe
[consultants’ report on the Movement of Travellers in Member States (MG-S-ROM (2002) 10 rev.); draft Recommendation on the free movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe (MG-S-ROM (2002) 16 rev); German and Russian comments on the draft Recommendation (MG-S-ROM (2003) 2)]

b) Study on the social and economic rights of nomadic population
[draft outline for a study on the social and economic rights of nomadic populations (MG-S-ROM (2002) 17); draft questionnaire on social rights of nomadic populations (MG-S-ROM (2003)1)]

11h00-11h30 Coffee break

from 11h30 to 13h00

III. FINNISH INITIATIVE REGARDING THE SETTING-UP OF A EUROPEAN ROMA FORUM [GT-ROMS (2003) 1; GT-ROMS (2003) 2; GT-ROMS (2003) 4 and GT-ROMS (2003) 5]

    a) Intervention by Mrs Anne-Marie Nyroos, Permanent Representative of Finland to the Council of Europe and Chair of the Working Group entrusted with studying the question of a possible Forum for Roma and Travellers (GT-ROMS)

    b) Questions and discussion

13h00-14h30 Lunch break

from 14h30 to 16h00

IV. ROMA AND HEALTH ISSUES

    b) Health chapter of the Draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies in Europe

[draft Recommendation on policies towards Roma/Gypsies (MG-S-ROM (2002) 3 rev – 2); German comments to the draft Recommendation (MG-S-ROM (2003) 3); draft Recommendation on health issue (MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov)]

    c) Joint CoE/EUMC/OSCE-HCNM Project “Roma/Gypsy Women and Access to Public Health Care”

[Vienna 28-29 November Meeting report; Strasbourg 3-4 February Meeting report]

    d) Presentation by Ms Ina Zoon based on the report of the Center for Reproductive Rights on coerced or forced sterilisation of Roma women

16h00-16h30 Coffee break

from 16h30 to 17h30

V. INTERNATIONAL INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

    a. Information on the Joint CoE/EC/OSCE-ODIHR Project “Roma under the Stability Pact”

      i. Intervention by the OSCE-ODIHR
      ii. Intervention by the CoE Roma/Gypsies Division
      iii. Intervention by the European Commission (to be confirmed)

    b. Intervention by the CoE Roma/Gypsies Division and members of the fact-finding visit to Serbia and Montenegro
    c. Information on the Joint Programme of Activities with the UNHCR

      i. Intervention by the UNHCR
      ii. Intervention by the CoE Roma/Gypsies Division

    d. Information on the OSCE Action Plan of Targeted Activities for Roma and Sinti

      i. Intervention by the OSCE-ODIHR
      ii. Intervention about the Dutch Presidency of the OSCE

    e. Intervention by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
    f. Intervention about the Greek Presidency of the EU
    g. Intervention by the Council of Europe Development Bank (to be confirmed)
    h. Intervention by the World Bank (to be confirmed)

17h30 End of the first day session

18h00 Reception offered by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands

Tuesday, from 9h00 to 10h00

VI. VISITS TO MEMBER STATES

    a) Presentations concerning countries recently visited (or which will be visited this year) by other sectors of the Council of Europe and identification of priority areas

      [MG-S-ROM (2003) 5]

      i. Intervention by the Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
      ii. Intervention by the Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
      iii. Intervention by the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rigths
      iv. Intervention by the Coordinator for Activities concerning Roma, Gypsies and Travellers

    b) Discussion on the choice of two to three member states to be visited in 2003

from 10h00 to 10h30

VII. THEMES CHOSEN FOR THE 2003 WORK PROGRAMME

a) Discussion on the implementation of policies for Roma at the local level

      Intervention by Project on Ethnic Relations (PER)

b) Discussion on Romani cultures and languages

    c) Discussion on Trends towards re-nomadisation of certain Roma communities

      ( topic discussed at the joint meeting with the CDMG)

10h30-11h00 Coffee break

from 11h00 to 11h30

VIII. EXAMINATION OF THE DRAFT REPLY TO THE RECOMMENDATION 1557 (2002) OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
[Draft reply to Recommendation 1557(2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the legal situation of the Roma in Europe]

from 11h30 to 12h00

IX. INFORMATION ABOUT/FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

Information about the Unification Congress of the Roma Communities of the CIS and the Baltic Countries – AREA (Smolensk, 31 Jan.-2 Feb. 2003)
Intervention from the Vice-President of the AREA (to be confirmed)

    b) Information about the creation of the International Roma Women’s Network

      Intervention from the President of the IRWN, Ms. Soraya Post

    c) Information about the registration of FERYP as an international Roma Youth Organisation

Intervention from the President of FERYP, Ms Alexandra Raykova

from 12h00 to 12h30

X. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEXT MEETING

    a. Date and place

    b. Organisations and experts to be invited

    c. Information about the afternoon session (internal meeting of the MG-S-ROM)

12h30-14h00 Lunch break

INTERNAL MEETING OF THE MG-S-ROM10

from 14h00 to 16h00

XI. WORKING METHODS AND ROTATION OF THE GROUP’S CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
[revised draft terms of reference of the Group MG-S-ROM (2002) 9; Resolution (76) 3]

    a. Terms of reference and working methods of the Group

    b. The role of the Coordinator

    c. Rotation of the Group’s chair and vice-chair and elections

      cdc. Identification of issues to be discussed with the CDMG

from 16h00 to 17h00

XII. JOINT MEETING WITH THE CDMG

The Group will meet the CDMG for an exchange of views on themes of common interest.

17h00 End of the second day session

* * * * *

Appendix 3

List of participants

Chair/Présidente: -
Co-Chair/Co-président: Mr Andrzej MIRGA (Poland/Pologne)

Bulgaria/Bulgarie
Mrs Mirolubka Petkova RAZSOUKANOVA, Senior Expert to the European Integration and International Relations Directorate, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, 2 Triaditza Street, Sofia 1051
Tel. +359 2 933 25 37 ; Fax: +359 2 981 53 76 ;
E-mail: razsoukanova@mlsp.government.bg

Croatia/Croatie (excused/excusée)
Ms Milena KLAJNER, Deputy Head of the Office for National Minorities of the Government of Croatia
Mesnicka 23, 10000 Zagreb
Tel +385 1 45 69 358 ; Fax +385 1 45 69 324
E-mail: milena.klajner@vlada.hr

Czech Republic / République tchèque
Mr Roman KRISTOF, Director, Council for Roma Community Affairs, Nábrezi Edvarda Benese 4, 11801 Prague 1
Tel.: +420 2 96 153 126; Fax: +420 2 2494 6615
E-mail: kristof@vlada.cz

Finland/Finlande
Mr Henry HEDMAN, Advisory Board on Romany Affairs, Vilppulantie 2 C 4, 00700 Helsinki.
Tel : +358 9 351 13 66 – Fax : +358 9 34 52 517
E-mail : henry.hedman@kolumbus.fi ; henry.hedman@kotus.fi

France
M. Marc GARONNE, Ministère de l'emploi et de la solidarité, Direction de l'action sociale
11 Pl. des cinq martyrs du Lycée Buffon, 75014 Paris
Tél.: +33 (0)1 40 56 87 23 ; Fax: +33 (0)1 40 56 86 01 
E-mail : marc.garonne@sante.gouv.fr

Germany/Allemagne
Mr. Roland DUBYK, Deputy Head of Section Federal Ministry of the Interior
Section SH II 7 - Minority Law Issues - PO box 170290, 53108 Bonn
Tel. : +49 (0)1888-681 3765 ; Fax : +49 (0)1888-681 5 3765
E-mail: roland.dubyk@bmi.bund.de

Greece/Grèce
M. Dionyssios KOUNDOUREAS, Conseiller d’Ambassade auprès du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Head of section dealing with Council of Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vasilisis Sofias n°1, Syntgama, Athens
Tel.: + 3010 368 4529 ; Fax: +3010 368 4146
E-mail: dcound@mfa.gr

Mme Anastassia BILA, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Département pour les Programmes du Développement
Tel. : +3010 32 39 857 : Fax : +3010 32 400 11
E-mail : international@ypes.gr
Hungary/Hongrie
Mr. Bela LAKATOS, Director of the Phare Monitoring and Pedagogical Resource Centre – Minsitry of Education , Bathory u.10 - H-1054 Budapest
Tel. : +36 1 311 66 50/301 ext. ; Fax : +36 1 311 6650/300 ext.
E-mail : lakatos.bela@forraskozpont.hu

Mr Peter OSKO, Expert, Phare Phare Monitoring and Pedagogical Resource Centre – Ministry of Education , Bathory u.10 - H-1054 Budapest
Tel. : +36 1 311 66 50/301 ext. ; Fax : +36 1 311 6650/300 ext.
E-mail : osko.peter@om.hu

Ireland/Irlande :
Ms. Kathleen BONAR, Assistant Principal, Equality Division, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Bishop's Square, Redmond Hill, Dublin 2
Tel.: +353 1 479 0222
e-mail: kathleen_M._Bonar@justice.ie

Italy/Italie:
Dr. Claudio MARTA, Professor of Economic Anthropology at the Istituto Universitario Orientale (Napoli), Viale Marx 239, 00137 Roma.
Tel: +39 06 86 89 10 21, Fax: +39 06 86 89 10 21
E-mail : claudio.marta@libero.it

Malta/Malte
Apologised/excusé

Netherlands/Pays-Bas
Special guest :
Mrs Josephine VERSPAGET, Nieuwe Boschstr.28, 4811 CX Breda.
Tel.: +31 76 52 12 108, Fax: +31 76 51 41 198
E-mail: j.verspaget@wanadoo.nl

Mr Jos DOUMA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DWM/ME
Tel.: +31 0 70 348 6149; Fax: +31 0 70 348 6233
E-mail: jos.douma@minbuza.nl

Mr D.A. ROSHEUVEL, Ministry of Justice, Direction DGIA V/DCIM
Tel.: +31 0 70 370 9139 ; Fax: +31 0 70 370 9089
E-mail: D.A.Rosheuvel@minjus.nl

Mr Gerard DE BOER, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands, 3 Square Sébastien Brant, 67000 Strasbourg
Tel. : +33 3 88 36 20 48 ; Fax: °33 3 88 36 70 10
E-mail: str@minbuza.nl

Norway/Norvège
Mrs Tove SKODVEDT, Adviser, Ministry of Local Government and Regioanl Development, Kommunal – Og – Regionaldepartementet – Same-og minoritetspolitisk adveling , PO Box 8112, 0032 Oslo
Tel.: +47 22 24 69 56 ; Fax: +47 22 24 95 38;
E-mail: tove.skotvedt@krd.dep.no

Poland/Pologne
Dr. Andrezj MIRGA - (CO-CHAIR / CO-PRESIDENT), Chairman of the Roma Advisory Council of Project of Ethnic Relations
Razvikowskiego 134, Apr 2, 31342 Cracow
Tel.: +48 12 635 90 92
E-mail: usmirga@cyf-kr.edu.pl

Mr Dobieslaw REZMINIEWSKI, Head of the National Minorities Division, Ministry of Interior and Administration, Department of Religtions and National Minorities, Ul Batorego 50, Warsaw 02-591
Tel. : +48 (22) 60 143 52 ;60 153 69 ; Fax. : +48 22 60 115 38
E-mail: wmn.dw@mswia.gov.pl

Romania/Roumanie
Mr Ivan GHEORGHE, Under-Secretary of State with National Office for Roma, Department for Inter-Ethnic Relations, Ministry of Public Information, Strada Smardan, nr.3, et.1, cam. 4, Sector 3, Bucarest
Tel. : +40 21 313 9455; +41 93 03 800 (mobile temporary)
E-mail: gheorghe.ivan@publicinfo.ro

Russian Federation/Fédération de Russie
Mr Sergey TOLKALIN, Head of Division, Department for Compatriots’Affairs and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya sq., Moscow, 119 200
Tel.: +7 095 244 31 78/244 30 25 ; Fax: +7 095 244 30 45
E-mail : dgpch@mid.ru

Slovakia
Mr Jan HERO, Head of Department of Church and Private Education, Ministry of Education,
Stromova 1 - 813 30 Bratislava
Tel. : +421 (0)2/54 77 26 47 ; Fax : 421 (0)2/54772181
E-mail : hero@education.gov.sk

Ms Miriam SLOVAKOVA, Department for Human Rights, MFA, Hlboka cesta 2, 833 36 Bratislava
Tel.: 00 421 2 5978 3714; Fax: 00421 2 5978 3739
e-mail: miriam_slovakova@foreign.gov.sk

Slovenia
Mr. Samo DROBEŽ, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, Office for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Mackova 2, 1501 Ljubljana
Tel.: +386 (0)1 300 94 12 ; Fax: +386(0)1 300 94 34
E-mail : samo.drobez@gov.si

Spain/Espagne
Ambassador DE GRANDES PASCUAL – Permanent Representationo of Spain to the Council of Europe 24, allée de la Robertsau, 6700 Strasbourg, France
Tel: +33.3.88.36.36.20 ; Fax: +33.3.88.36.70.63
E-mail: spain.coe@wanadoo.fr

Switzerland/Suisse (excused/excusée)
Mme Tatiana FUMASOLI, DP IV, Politique humanitaire et migration, Département fédéral des affaires étrangères, Bundessgasse 32 3003 Berne
Tel. +41 31 322 33 52 ; Fax: +41 31 32 38 922
E-mail: Tatiana.Fumasoli-Calderone@eda.admin.ch

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”/”l’ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine” (excused/excusé)
Mr Neždet MUSTAFA, Member of Parliament , Municipality of Šuto Orizari, MK-Šuto Orizari b.b.
Tel.: 389.2.652.580 ; Tel./Fax: +389.2.650.584
E-mail: gradsho@unet.com.mk

Ukraine
Mr Oleg SEMENENKO, Acting Head of the Council of Europe Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine 1, Mykhaylivska sqr., Kyiv, 01018
Tel. (38 044) 238-17-70, Fax (38 044) 238-18-93)
E-mail: vre@mfa.gov.ua
OBSERVERS/OBSERVATEURS
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS/INSTITUTIONS

Presidency of the European Union / Présidence de l’Union Européenne
-

European Commission / Commission européenne
Excused/excusé

OSCE/ Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights/Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues
Mr Nicolae GHEORGHE, Advisor on Roma and Sinti Issues, 19 Ujazdowskie Avenue, 00-557 Warsaw, Poland.
Tel.: +48 22 520 06 00/41 43 ; Fax: +48 22 520 06 05
E-mail: nicolae@odihr.osce.waw.pl

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Ms Pascale MOREAU – Palais de l’Europe – Bur. 1018/1020
Tel.: +33 3 88 41 28 69
E-mail: FRAST@unhcr.ch

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Mr Andrey IVANOV, Human Development Advisor, Regional Support Centre
Europe and the CIS, Grösslingova 35
811 09 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
E-mail: andrey.ivanov@undp.org

INVITED NGO’S / EXPERTS / ROMA REPRESENTATIVES
ONG / EXPERTS / REPRESENTANTS ROMS INVITES

M. May BITTEL, Les Gens du Voyage, Le Molard 15, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
Tel./Fax :: 0041 22 755 55 34
E-mail : patrick.vogt@freesurf.ch

Ms Sylvia DUNN, President, National Association of Gypsy Women
Meadowview, Goldsmith Drive, Lower holbridge Road, RAYLEIGH, Essex, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 1268 782 792; Fax: +44 1702 545 647

Mr GRYGORITCHENKO, President for All-Ukrainian NGO “Roma Congress of Ukraine”, 9-B Mala Gitomirska st., 01001 Kiev
Tel/fax: +44 228 87 11
E-mail: forumo@kjevweb.com.ua

Mr Rudko KAWCZYNSKI, Roma National Congress
Central European office, Simon von Utrecht Strasse 85, D - 22303 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.:+ 49 171 8931 831 / 49 40 31 94 249; Fax: + 49 171 8910 702/ 49 40 310 475 
E-mail: rnc@romnews.com. ; kawczynski@tronline.de

Mr. Brendan O’CAOLAIN - Pavee Point, 46 North Great Charles Str. ,Dublin 1- Ireland
Tel : +353 1 878 02 55 – Fax : + 353 1 874 26 26
E-mail : pavee@iol.ie

Mrs Soraya POST , Otherdahlsgatan 6 D, 417 16 Göteborg, Sweden
Tel : +46 31 22 14 17
E-mail : Soraya.Post@kortedala.goteborg.se

Mr Fernando SIGONA, School of Planning, Oxford Brookes University
Gipsy Lane Campus, Oxford OX3 OBP, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 1865 483 072 ; Fax: +44 1865 483 559
E-mail: fsigona@brookes.ac.uk

Mr Stanislav STANKIEWICZ, Vice-President of IRU, Warslawska 43 p 101, 15-062 Biatystok, Poland
Tel/Fax: +48 85 73 29 607
E-mail: stahiros@polbox.com

CONSULTANTS

M. Laurent KELLER, Avocat, 9a, rue des Balayeurs , 67000 Strasbourg
Tel : +33 03 88 36 14 82
E-mail : LrntKELLER@aol.com

Ms Ina ZOON, C/. Olid N° 5 piso 1A, 28010 Madrid, Spain
Tel.: +34 91 59 44 780; Fax: +34 91 59 44 179
E-mail: inazoon3@worldonline.es

COUNCIL OF EUROPE BODIES / ORGANES DU CONSEIL DE L’EUROPE

Parliamentary Assembly : Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography / Assemblée parlementaire : commission des migrations, des réfugiés et de la démographie:
M. Virgil POPA , Député, Chambre des Députés, Aleea Mitropoliei 5, Bucarest, Roumanie
Fax 4021 312 66 00
M. Vojtech TKÁČ, Député, Ludovita Fullu 3, 841 05 Bratislava, Slovaquie
Fax (Chancellerie) 4217 54415 324

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)/ Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux d’Europe (CPLRE) (excusé/excused)

European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance / Commission européenne contre le racisme et l’intolérance (ECRI)
M. Giancarlo CARDINALE Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 39 42 ; Fax: + 33 (0)3 88 41 39 87
E-Mail: giancarlo.cardinale@coe.int
Website: http://www.ecri.coe.int

Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities / Secrétariat de la Convention-cadre pour la protection des minorités nationales
M. Alain CHABLAIS
Alain Chablais, Direction des Droits de l'Homme - DG II
tél: + 33(0)3 90 21 46 64 ; fax: + 33(0)3 90 21 49 18
E-mail : Alain.Chablais@coe.int
Website: http://www.coe.int/T/F/Droits_de_l'Homme/Minorites

Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages / Secrétariat de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires (excused/excusé)
Ms Regína JENSDOTTIR
DGI - Legal Affairs
Tel: +33 3 88 41 22 25 ; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 84
E-mail: regina.jensdottir@coe.int
Website :http://www.coe.int/T/F/Affaires_juridiques/D%E9mocratie_locale_et_r%E9gionale/Langues_r%E9gionales_ou_minoritaires/
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights/Bureau du Commissaire aux droits de l’homme
Mrs Satu SUIKKARI
E-mail : satu.suikkari@coe.int
Mrs Alexandra RAYKOVA
Website : http://www.commissioner.coe.int/new/dyn/docs.asp?L=1&S=1

Directorate General of Legal Affairs/Direction générale des affaires juridiques
M. Patrick TITIUN
Tél.: +33 3 88 41 32 76
E-mail: patrick.titiun@coe.int

Council of Europe Development Bank/ Banque de Développement du Conseil de l'Europe :
M. Nicola CATALANO, Representative of Social Cohesion Unit C/o Council of Europe, F-67075 STRASBOURG cedex, France
E-mail: nicola.catalano@coe.int

(excused/excusée)
Mme Eva SCHWEBEL, Deputy Director to the Development Director, 55 avenue Kléber, 75784 Paris Cedex 16, France
Tel. : +33 (0) 1 47 55 55 92 ; Fax : +33 (0) 1 47 55 37 68 
E-mail : eva.schwebel@coebank.org

NGOs / ONG

Project on Ethnic Relations
Mrs Livia PLAKS, Executive Director, Project of Ethnic Relations, 15 Chambers Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 08542 USA
Tel.: +1 609 683 5666; Fax: +1 609 683 5888
E-mail: per@per-usa.org

FERYP
Mrs Alexandra RAYKOVA, 99 Suhodolska str,.P.B 106, Sofia 1373 ,Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 23 27 44
E-mail : alexraykova@hotmail.com

ERRC (excused/excusé)

SECRETARIAT OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Directorate General III/ Social Cohesion/ Migration and Roma/Gypsies Department

Mr Henry SCICLUNA, Coordinator of Activities on Roma/Gypsies/Coordonnateur des activités roms/tsiganes, Head of the Department/Chef du service
Tel. : +33 3 88 21 71; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: henry.scicluna@coe.int

Ms Maria OCHOA-LLIDO, Administrator/Administratrice
Tel.: +33 3 88 41 21 79; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: maria.ochoa-llido@coe.int

Ms Miranda VUOLASRANTA, Administrator/Administratrice
Tel.: +33 3 90 41 48 20; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: miranda.vuolasranta@coe.int

Mr Michaël GUET, Administrator/Administrateur, Secretary of the MG-S-ROM/Secrétaire du
MG-S-ROM
Tel.: +33 3 90 41 49 63; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: michaël.guet@coe.int

Ms Brigitte THOMAS, Assistant/Assistante, Roma/Gypsy Activities / Activités roms/tsiganes
Tel.: +33 3 88 41 21 66; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: brigitte.thomas@coe.int

Ms Nelly TASNADI, Assistant/Assistante, Roma/Gypsy Activities / Activités roms/tsiganes
Tel. : +33 3 88 41 38 54 ; Fax : +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail : nelly.tasnadi@coe.int

Mr Nenad VLADISAVLJEV, intern/stagiaire
E-mail: nenad.vladisavljev@coe.int

Ms Lidia LAZAR, intern/stagiaire
E-mail: lidia.lazar@coe.int

Website:
English version: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Social_Cohesion/Roma_Gypsies
version française : http://www.coe.int/T/F/cohésion_sociale/Roms_Tsiganes

INTERPRETERS/INTERPRETES

Mlle Laurence BREITHEL
Mme Rémy JAIN
Mr Sejdo JASAROV
Mrs Sarita JASAROVA
Mr Olivier OBRECHT


1 Ireland sent their written comments to the Secretariat early May.

2 For further information about the functioning of CDEJ, please consult: http://www.coe.int/T/E/cultural_co-operation/Youth/2._Policy_&_Structures/2._Structures/

3 See remarks at item VII.b of this report.

4 The members of this ad hoc working group, apart from Ms Josephine Verspaget, were: Mr Rudko Kawczynski (RNC), Ms Soraya Post (IRWN), Ms. Ronnie Fay and Ms Kathleen Joyce from Pavee Point (Irish Travellers), Ms Catherine Bear (representing Gypsies/Travellers in the UK), Ms Mariana Buceanu (Romania), Ms Françoise Kempf (Spain) and two Roma trainees, Ms Lidia Lazar (Romania) and Mr Nenad Vladisaljev (Serbia).

5 Since the MG-S-ROM meeting this Conference has been postponed to 11-12 September 2003, in Strasbourg.

6 Some Observations Concerning the Report Prepared and Published by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Civil and Human Rights Consulting Center: “The Body and the Soul”. Forced Sterilization and Other Assaults on Roma Reproductive Freedom in Slovakia”.

7 No representatives of the European Roma Rights Center were present at this meeting.

8 In June, the Slovak authorities informed the Secretariat that they would prefer inviting the MG-S-ROM in 2004. The German authorities were then requested end of June if they would accept to host the next MG-S-ROM. Late September, the Secretariat was informed that the German authorities were not in a position to host the MG-S-ROM. As a consequence, the Secretariat – in agreement with the Chair and the Vice Chair of the MG-S-ROM – has proposed to hold the 16th MG-S-ROM in Strasbourg on 27-28 November 2003.

9 See the appendices below concerning the internal meeting and the rotation of the Group chair and vice-chair.

10 See the appendices below concerning the internal meeting and the rotation of the Group chair and vice-chair.