The 5th meeting of the Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma and Traveller Civil Society (20-21 June 2018) concentrated on the issue of Roma and Traveller political participation with the aims of:

  • a) prioritising and giving visibility to the rights of Roma and Travellers to active political and public participation,
  • b) highlighting the issue of political participation as a key parameter in the effort of tackling Roma and Traveller marginalisation, isolation and discrimination and
  • c) increasing the capacity of Roma and Traveller NGOs to identify strategies and good practices that help to strengthen their participation in the political and public sphere.

The methodology adopted included presentations, interventions and round table discussions. The emphasis was on presenting the issues at hand and then allowing enough time for experts to discuss the issues closer to grassroots level. The aim was to create a space for all participants (academia, experts and grassroots experts) from various international, European and national organisations to link policy to practice, and vice versa, and to create valuable cross-sectorial networks.

Over 30 representatives of international, national and local Roma youth and Traveller NGOs from 20 Council of Europe member states participated in the meeting along with staff from various Council of Europe bodies, university professors, experts and politicians.