The "Alliance" fights discrimination against Roma at the local and regional levels, promotes their inclusion and raises awareness of these communities among local and regional authorities.

The Alliance operates under the auspices of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

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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 including Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari, Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and Ashkali), Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal), 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.

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"Intensive exchange on Roma Education" during first Alliance-Event in Budapest

Nikolai Atefie

On 17-18 December 2012, the Council of Europe's European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, together with the joint Roma mediators programme ROMED, organised its first activity during its test phase – an international workshop on "Inclusive Education: Local Policies and Practices", which took place in Budapest, Hungary.

 

This workshop acted as part of a mapping exercise, aiming to identify existing experiences and good practices in the field of inclusive education for Roma, in order for them to be promoted and developed into sustainable policies. The workshop brought together municipal authorities and those who work at grassroots level from Oulu (Finland), Vänersborg (Sweden), Hódmezovásárhely (Hungary), Murska Sobota (Slovenia), Veldhoven (Netherlands), Sheffield (United Kingdom) and Niš (Serbia), who are working in the field of education for Roma. It was also attended by members of international organisations such as the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation and the European Roma Rights Centre as well as the Hungarian CAHROM-Member and the NGOs "Chance for Children Foundation" and "Romaversitas" who are working in Hungary."

 

During the workshop, the participating municipalities were given time to make short presentations on specific questions, such as the key challenges, measures applied, the impact and sustainability of these measures. The participants also had a chance to discuss good practices and the applicability of these practices in other geographical regions and social environments.

 

"I observed an intense exchange between the participants during the workshop, which hopefully will lead to strong international cooperation, help to build synergies and support the municipalities in their work in improving the situation of Roma in Europe," stated Ana Rozanova, Programme Manager of the Alliance, after the meeting. The workshop also included a field trip to the after-school centre Ferencvarosi Tanoda, which was co-organised with the Roma Education Fund.