ROMACT conference on 2 & 3 October in Brussels
On 2 and 3 October the high-level conference took place in Brussels to take stock of the ROMACT project after one year of implementation.
ROMACT is a joint initiative by of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, implemented with the support of the Council of Europe Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, in order to promote the inclusion of Roma at local and regional level. ROMACT aims to strengthen the capacity of local and regional authorities (targeting both elected officials and senior civil servants) to develop and implement plans and projects for Roma inclusion.
The purpose of the event was to take stock and to share with the audience the experience gained by project managers and local officials through ROMACT. The event was an important step, with key note speeches by Commissioner Laszlo Andor and MEP Soraya Post, as well as the Special Representative of the SG for Roma Issues Ulrich Bunjes. Inspiring expertise was provided by the mayors from ROMACT participating municipalities, who shared valuable insight about their approaches to designing projects for Roma Inclusion.
The president of the Congress of local and regional authorities, Mr. Herwig van Staa, took the opportunity in the closing session to re-affirm the support of the Congress for ROMACT and the related initiatives Alliance for Roma Inclusion and ROMED. ROMED is another joint initiative by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, tackling the inequalities Roma face in terms of access to employment, healthcare services and quality education. The project employs people with a Roma background, from local Roma communities, or with a good knowledge of Roma issues, to act as mediators between the Roma and the public institutions.
Furthermore Pdt. Van Staa stated the Congress’ willingness to further develop the benefits of ROMED, ROMACT and the Alliance for Roma Inclusion by strengthening their mutual connections, with a view to possibly merging in the medium term.
Who did not use the live-steam for the event, can still go to http://coe-romact.org/ to get more information about the conference.