The European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at local level (ROMACTED II) is a co-operation programme aiming at improving the integration of Roma populations in local communities through enhanced participation in local policymaking and implementation of local actions. The activities of the Programme, following the completion of Phase I of the ROMACTED joint programme in the Western Balkans and Turkey (2017-2020), are implemented in seven beneficiaries in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo*.ROMACTED II - phase 2 of the Joint Programme - focuses on activities to develop Roma-specific policies with local authorities and to enhance the democratic participation of local Roma communities in the development of these policies.

 

ROMACTED II was launched in January 2021 and will be implemented until the end of 2024. It includes as partners relevant international and national organisations, both governmental and non-governmental.

 

The Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT) has agreed to be the institutional partner in Turkey for the programme during the implementation of Phase II. The Memorandum of Understanding between the UMT and the Council of Europe (CoE), signed in October 2021, aims to facilitate the local dissemination and ownership of the programme. Eleven municipalities have been determined based on their expression of interest and the selection criteria of the programme: Akhisar/Manisa, Canik/Samsun, Edirne, Ereğli/Zonguldak, Gaziantep, Gömeç/Balıkesir, İstanbul Metropolitan, Konak/ İzmir, Muratlı/Tekirdağ, Şişli/istanbul and Uzunköprü/Edirne.

 

In this framework, the pool of consultants and facilitators as well as the Zero Discrimination Association as support organisation, which have all been selected by the Council of Europe through open calls for tenders, are to assist the local implementation of the programme, supported by Council of Europe staff responsible for the project.

 

The joint programme pursues the following objectives:

  • improve local democracy, accountability, inclusiveness, and responsiveness towards Roma citizens and thereby improve the delivery of services,
  • build political will and sustained policy engagement of local authorities,
  • enhance and contribute to democratic local governance activities of Roma communities.

 

The target groups of the joint programme are local governments (elected representatives), field units of public administrations and the Roma communities living in the selected municipalities.

 

The main programme activities include training, coaching, implementation of participatory working cycles, and advocacy. One of the leading principles of the programme methodology is that the effective participation in local governance requires the willingness and the ownership of all partners. In that respect, a preliminary mapping, an assessment, a baseline survey and research are envisaged to take place in each municipality to facilitate the adaptation of the programme and the monitoring of the process and the progress.

 

The support and active engagement of all stakeholders throughout the four-year implementation period is essential for the successful completion of the programme.

 

The total available funds for implementation of this joint programme in Turkey are in the range of 725,000 EUR for the whole 4-year implementation period 2021-2024.

 

More information on the Joint Programme ROMACTED is available at http://coe-romacted.org.

 

The ROMACTED methodology is outlined in the ROMACTED Handbook available here.

 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.