Government of Croatia

Office for National Minorities




Zagreb, 11February 2005
Čakovec, 12 February 2005

Summary Report



The participants request the Office for National Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to forward the following proposals to Mrs. Jadranka Kosor, Vice President of the Croatian Government and Minister for Family, Veterans’ Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity, in her capacity of President of the Inter-ministerial Commission for the Monitoring of the National Programme for Roma.


1. To review regularly – at least annually - the national programme for Roma; this should include evaluating the process made, deleting from the programme those measures that have been implemented and updating the implementation status of other measures.

Coordination inside and outside the Commission:
2. To ensure a stronger involvement of the Ministry of Education in the work of the Inter-ministerial Commission for the implementation of measures under its responsibility, and dedicate one meeting of the Commission exclusively to education issues (pre-schooling, segregated classes in Međimurje, scholarships, etc.).
3. To consider including authorities from other counties apart from Zagreb and Međimurje in the work of the Commission and to organise visits of the Commission to other parts of Croatia (Istria and Osijek-Baranja were specifically referred to).
4. To ensure close coordination and regular contact with the Parliament and the MP representing the Roma minority, particularly in May-June period, when the budgetary allocations for the next year are being discussed.
5. To urge Ministers to provide the necessary funds for the implementation of the National Programme for Roma.


6. In order to ensure transparency a communication plan is needed. It should include publishing an annual report on the implementation of the National Programme for Roma in the Croatian language, but possibly also in Romani and Beyash languages, and make it widely public for the majority population, the local authorities and the Roma communities of Croatia.
7. To publicize the National Programme for Roma (alongside Decade action plans) on the occasion of the National Launch of the Decade for Roma Inclusion on April 5, 2005, encouraging with wide media coverage, and anticipating challenging media questions.
8. To prepare a brochure in Croatian language, possibly also in Romani and Beyash languages, to present the members of the Inter-Ministerial Commission, their names, institutions and contact details, and circulate the brochure to state and local authorities, parliament and Roma communities.

Training (to be proposed for a third joint CoE/EC programme for Roma):

9. To organise a training for state and local institutions in various parts of Croatia about the culture, language traditions and circumstances of the different Roma communities living in Croatia.
10. To organise training programmes for those working with Roma on participatory monitoring and evaluation methodology. This programme should include Roma NGO representatives and central, county and local government officials, especially those participating in the Inter-Ministerial Commission for the implementation of the programme.
11. To maximise the outreach of monitoring Roma projects and programmes to ensure that the views on individual Roma and their families (the ultimate beneficiaries) are heard.
12. To publish, translate and distribute guidelines for effective and participative monitoring and evaluation of Roma projects, programmes and strategies.
13. To promote participative methods to bring together Roma NGOs and Government officials to monitor the progress of projects and programmes and to share their ownership.
14. To provide training on how to publicise and encourage wide media coverage of the national programme for Roma within Croatia to encourage people to accept that special measures should be taken for Roma with a view to combating discrimination and prejudice.

Additionally the following issues were referred to during the two days discussion:

• The need to increase the number of scholarships for Roma.
• The need to combat segregation (in particular in Međimurje) and to facilitate the integration of Romani children who attended two years preschool education and passed the test to enter regular elementary schools (see Pirgo kindergarten in Čakovec for example).
• The need to allocate money urgently for pre-schools and co-finance secondary schools (in particular in Međimurje).
• The need in most cases to extend pre-schooling to two years. One year appears insufficient to learn the basics of the Croatian language).
• The need to regulate the status of Roma school assistants who have no rights to health care, pension, etc.
• The need to support and duplicate other interesting initiatives at local level (computer classes given by certain Beyash associations of Međimurje, OSI project “After-school tutoring for Roma children” taking place in Beli Manastir, etc.).
• The importance of developing educational training for adults, and women in particular.

• The need to expand good practices in legalisation and improvement of infrastructure of Romani settlements, using for instance the example of Međimurje in other counties (like Rijeka).
• A request to solve the ownership issue to be able to extend land plots in Curšanec.
• A request to include Istria county (Rijeka) in the research conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction, which currently covers 12 counties.

• The need to increase vocational training and the fight against discrimination in the labour sector.
• The need to consider solutions to encourage the regularisation of Roma jobs pertaining currently to the “grey” economy.
• The need to extend to other counties the good practice of employing two Roma in the local employment agency of Čakovec.
• The need to pursue the enrolment of Roma in police academies and their nomination as police officers, and the value of extending this practice for customs officers at the borders.
• The need to extend the good practice of municipalities hiring the services of Roma for proximity work (like garbage collection in Kuršanec).

• The need to improve the promotion of health care education among Roma communities.
• The need to harmonise the health care legislation and the social welfare system.

• The need to review the practical application of some Articles (4, 8, 9) of the Law on citizenship for Roma and monitor the implementation of the Law of citizenship and its effects (discrimination in application of the Law denounced by Roma);
• The need to harmonise the Law on citizenship with commitments made under the National Programme for Roma.
• The need to facilitate obtaining Croatian citizenship for those Roma who had fled the country and who wish to come back.
• The need to accelerate the regulation of the status of many Roma so that they can exercise their rights (property rights, access to social and health care).

• The need to organise seminars on various topics for young Roma, as they have a positive effects within Roma communities.
• The need to encourage the employment of Roma in ministries as special advisers or assistant ministers. These are positive examples in many European countries, e.g. “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
• The need to provide English courses for Roma participating in international events (Decade, etc.) to support Roma empowerment and help them participate fully in the meetings and in discussions.