The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion was set up by the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities with the support of Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues. 130 cities and regions from 29 countries are now participating in the Alliance.
The Alliance aims to achieve these objectives:
1. To promote the exchange of know-how and good practices on Roma inclusion among participating cities and regions
2. To enable participating cities and regions to speak with one voice by providing a platform for advocating on issues concerning Roma inclusion at local and regional level
The Alliance organises national and international seminars for its participating cities and regions in order to facilitate the exchange of know-how and good practices.
One of the key priorities of the Alliance is the promotion of the Roma culture and raising awareness and knowledge about the Roma Genocide during World War II and the international commemoration day on the 2nd of August.
Another important initiative of the Council of Europe, aimed at fighting antigypsyism, is the Dosta! Campaign, run on a national level in the member states. As of 2013, the Alliance is in charge of administrating the Dosta! Congress Prize, awarded biannually to three municipalities for their successful and innovative projects in the field of Roma inclusion.
In recent years, there has been a strong development of European and national policy framework for the inclusion of Roma. At the same time, awareness has grown that policy measures at local and regional level are decisive for bringing about real improvement in the social inclusion of Roma, across the key areas of education, housing, employment and health and the need to develop these policy measures has increased considerably.
To meet those needs the Council of Europe has adopted in October 2010 the Strasbourg Declaration that identifies clear priorities to work on and envisages a role for the Council of Europe as a support player in assisting national as well as local and regional authorities in their efforts to improve Roma inclusion.
The concept of the Alliance was identified at the Summit of Mayors in September 2011. It was followed by the creation of a core group of cities and regions which volunteered to establish the Alliance and drew up a general framework for its objectives and working methods. After a thorough consultation process in 2012, which included a large-scale survey conducted with local and regional authorities in Council of Europe member states and follow-up consultation meetings, the main needs and interests of the cities and regions were identified.
The Alliance was officially launched during the 24th Congress Session on 20 March 2013 with messages of support from the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the Congress, the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, the President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and several participating cities and regions of the Alliance.
Please contact alliance(at)coe.int for any questions concerning the Alliance.
Mr. Valentin Unger
Congress of the Council of Europe
FR - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel: 33 (0) 3 90 21 63 94
The work of the Alliance has been supported by Austrian secondments since 2012. Secondees have been chosen and prepared for their work by the civil society association Austrian Service Abroad, an organisation which specialises in the worldwide sending of volunteers. So far, the secondees have been (in chronological order): Clemens Kohl, Nikolai Atefie, Lando Kirchmair, Kay-Michael Dankl, Christoph Stöger, Thomas Schobesberger and Valentin Unger.