What is Cordoba Summit promising? Is European Commission accepting Roma to promote herself?
In the light of II EU Roma Summit which will be held in Cordoba, Spain as effort for the largest European 10 millions minority. The first Summit held in 2008 promised urgent changes, integration and inclusion. NRC as participant at the Summit supported the idea for EU Roma Strategy, which was lately adopted only as Platform. Second Roma Summit will be parade of politicians who are part of high EC structures and without quality Roma representatives.
Are Roma and the public introduced about Cordoba and Summit goals and conclusions on their behalf?
Macedonia and EU must demonstrate strong political will and actions for improvement and inclusion of Roma.
National Roma Centrum (NRC) on the occasion of International Roma Day is underlying the urgency and importance of improving the situation of Roma community urging for real and visible actions. Starting from current perspective and dimension We are witnesses that Roma are trying to survive confronted with constant deterioration of socio-economic condition, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, lack of measures to protect cultural and language identity. Many initiatives were raised and formally supported, but still we have very clear gap in between, and should decide – Discrimination or Inclusion?
Certain number of Roma are without civil status, without ID Cards, having no possibility to access institutional support and protection, no access to health services or social protection.
NRC is highlighting that in the area of employment Roma community is at he bottom, having serious impact on socio-economic condition of Roma families as barrier to access other rights. Roma community is insufficiently and non equitably involved in the labour market. Unemployment tendency is continuing rapidly to grow for Roma.
NRC is concerned about the fact that most Roma families live in substandard living conditions in urban areas, national data base and mapping for Roma settlements is not available, for illegal housings as well, means for improving infrastructure and minimum living conditions were not funded yet.
Substandard living conditions, difficulties in access to health protection and services, having no information, having no prevention, highest rates of infant mortality are characteristics of the real picture regarding health and Roma.
Education is the bright point in the strategic aims of Republic of Macedonia to improve situation of Roma and to foster their inclusion in society. Positive step forward has been made with increased number of enrolled Roma children, positive atmosphere in schools, scholarships for students and free school books. But still we lack continuance in ensuring quality education, we lack measures for desegregation at local level, extremely high rate of illiteracy among Roma and the process to educate them has not been started yet, parents are not motivated for greater cooperation with schools.
Media reporting has been increased regarding common problems faced by Roma families having media attention. But Macedonia has not adopted anti-discrimination law as effective mechanism for protection if it occurs.
In the frameworks of the Decade for Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, Macedonia has provided nearly 5 EUR per capita for Roma inhabitant, is it enough to build home, to be employed, to educated, or to receive health services?
For further information, please contact:
Asmet Elezovski Katerina Sojic
National Roma Centrum Done Bozinov 11/5 1300 Kumanovo Macedonia
elezovski [at] nationalromacentrum.org
ksojic [at] nationalromacentrum.org
info [at] nationalromacentrum.org