Possible changes to the Decade if continued after 2015
There is general consensus among Decade partners that the Decade should continue after 2015. The governments of the partner countries – signatories of the Decade are consulted. And they agree that there is a need for another Decade beyond 2015, besides other existing initiatives dealing with Roma inclusion, because of its unique features. There is a difference between government representatives from non-EU and EU countries. The first group unreservedly supports continuation of the Decade. The second group conditions it on ensuring greater compatibility with the EU Framework: eliminating duplication of effort in policy development. The European Commission thinks the same.
Mission – the core dual mission for Roma inclusion through poverty reduction and non-discrimination should remain. Rewording might be considered to retain the basic idea, but make it more specific and realistic.
Approach – summarizing various proposals of respondents and formulating with theoretical terminology, the main approach in achieving the mission needs to change from pilot projects to human rights based and individualized integral approach. Scaling up and institutionalization of good practices is another strongly supported proposal.
Time – two options are proposed for continuing the Decade a) for another set of ten years, thus by 2025, to allow for meaningful change; or b) for five years to complement the EU Framework which has an endpoint of 2020 (which would mean alignment with the Europe 2020 Strategy).
Priority themes – Retain the same priority themes, but set more specific objectives that complement other initiatives; focus on dissemination and institutionalization of established good practices; create additional specialized institutions to pursue the objectives (similar to the Roma Education Fund); apply human rights based and individualized integral approach; work on trust-building and empowerment of Roma community; tackle neglected sub-themes; focus on fight against all types of discrimination or violence against Roma, with special attention to structural discrimination; introduce measures targeting both Roma and non-Roma, and media; introduce new priorities or cross-cutting topics: suggestions include empowerment of Roma; access to and ensuring justice; civil registration and issues related to movement; Roma identity; children’s rights and early childhood development; participation of Roma; the most deprived (street children, beggars, (potential) victims of trafficking, etc.).
Roma participation – increase and strengthen Roma participation and combine it with empowerment of Roma, at national and local level.
Action plans – harmonize requirements and structures with EU Framework to eliminate redundancy and provide for guidance and support in policy development;
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting – propose and implement feasible system of monitoring, evaluation and reporting that is comprehensive and comparable, takes into account existing data collection methods and proposes adjustments, harmonizes with EU Framework monitoring, supports civil society engagement, results in policy recommendations and ensures follow-up.
Policy coordination and guidance – increase pragmatic and grassroots oriented discussions; increase relevance of topics and people involved; ensure subsidiarity and bottom-up approach; ensure follow-up; engage opposing elements; ensure both horizontal and vertical coordination; focus on institutionalization of proven practices, not abandoning proactive approach in seeking and piloting innovative solutions; consider mainstreaming and explicit but not exclusive targeting in the policy development.
Exchange of experience and information sharing – increase efforts and structure these processes better.
Create enforcement mechanisms or use existing ones by ensuring institutional cooperation.
Ensure funding: identify correlation between funding and change on the ground; guide budgeting and fundraising; provide technical support and coordination; work on building absorption and management capacities in government and civil society and tackle funding barriers; introduce regional planning and management facility.
Membership – maintain broad membership with flexible requirements; fully focus on non-EU countries and offer complementary elements to EU countries; expand with new countries; engage observing countries more meaningfully; coordinate better and involve other relevant international partners; ensure more meaningful participation of Roma.
Administration and management:
International Steering Committee – clarify procedures and ensure efficiency (particularly in case of insufficiently active members); encourage participation of decision-makers; ensure enforcement of decisions and follow-up; bring in more expertise to inform decisions; ensure wide consultations including at local and national level.
Presidency – clarify role and procedures and ensure efficiency; engage other countries; increase visibility, dissemination and representation efforts; replace the presidency system with thematic hosting country system (annual plan is developed and countries volunteer to host on specific items).
Secretariat – increase the mandate and power including role in visibility and representation of the Decade; ensure diversified and sustainable funding; ensure national and local outreach; increase capacities for all the aspects of the Decade process; including potentially new elements, as well as capacities on ensuring Roma participation and empowerment.
Specialized facilities – ensure continuity and sustainability; create new facilities according to new objectives.
National level structures – ensure National Coordinators actively participate, coordinate on national and local level and have appropriate decision making and executive powers; back-up with appropriate in-country structures; increase Roma engagement.
You can read the whole article on the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 – 2015, the hitherto achievements, the priorities to date, as well as future plans, directions and goals, on the following link from the Decade Secretariat: