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Council of Europe contributes to EU Roma Week 2018

The Council of Europe substantially contributed to the EU Roma Week, held at the European Parliament in Brussels from 8 to 12 April 2018.
Strasbourg 13 april 2018
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Council of Europe contributes to EU Roma Week 2018

On 10 April, upon invitation by Benedek Javor MEP, Thorsten Afflerbach, Head of Division for the Roma and Travellers Team, addressed the participants of the event “From quality education to decent employment”. In the Panel “Access to decent employment”, moderated by Terry Reintke MEP, he presented the recommendations on facilitating the transition from education to employment for Roma youth, emanating from the 4th meeting of the Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma and Traveller Civil Society (Strasbourg, September 2017).

On 12 April, at the event “Roma Youth in the Policy Agenda Post 2018/2020”, hosted by the Council of Europe Brussels office, and moderated by Gordana Berjan, Executive Director of the Council’s European Youth Centre (EYC) in Budapest, Hungary, Mr Afflerbach presented the youth component of the Council’s Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers (2016-2019) the Council of Europe / European Commission Joint Programmes INSCHOOL, JUSTROM, ROMACT and ROMACTED as well as the possibilities for Roma youth to participate in the political debate at European level in the context of the Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma and Traveller Civil Society.

Gordana Berjan stressed that the Roma Youth Action Plan complements the Council’s Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers and was a response by the youth sector to the challenges faced by Roma young people in Europe. She explained that particular emphasis was put on capacity building of Roma youth leaders and organisations,  youth participation, involvement of Roma young people and double mainstreaming of Roma/youth policies in the Action Plan, and that current work was focusing on the setting up of a Roma Youth Academy.

Furthermore, on 10 April, Aurora Ailincai, Head of the Strategic Partnerships Unit within the Roma and Travellers Team, moderated a working group in the workshop on “Evidence based Roma inclusion policy development: how to make effective use of the survey and the study on returnees in Western Balkans?” which  took place in the World Bank office. The ROMACT, INSCHOOL and ROMACTED project managers contributed to the related workshops on education, employment, discrimination and civil documentation.

On 11 April, the European Commission (DG EMPL) organised a working meeting of the beneficiary municipalities involved in transnational co-operation visits within the ROMACT programme. Ana Oprisan, ROMACT Programme Manager, moderated the meeting after introductory remarks of Emanuelle Grange, Head of Disability and Inclusion Unit in DG EMPL and Ms Ailincai.


The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the Council of Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and Ashkali); c) Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the populations designated under the administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies.The present is an explanatory footnote, not a definition of Roma and/or Travellers.

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Roma women are a quiet but strong force for change, both a change in the fate of their communities' lives, as well as in their condition as women facing multiple discrimination. Empowering Roma women through trainings and international Conferences is among the Council of Europe priorities

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For a number of years now, the Support Team has been organising various training sessions, including train-the-trainers sessions, on anti-discrimination and anti-gypsyism for legal professionals and law-enforcement officials. This has been done sometimes in co-operation with the HELP Unit or other units/departments of the Council of Europe. Such training included initial training and in-service training, and has been offered to lawyers, police officers and prison staff.

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Contact : Isabela Mihalache

Roma and Travellers Team Roma and Travellers Team
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The following websites contain a wealth of reference texts and materials, which will be gradually moved onto the new Roma website: 

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