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EURoma Network discusses in Prague Guide for local and regional authorities on the use of Structural Funds for the social inclusion of Roma [editar]

17/05/2011

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On 11th-12th May 2011, the EURoma Network (European Network on Social Inclusion and Roma under the Structural Funds), the Technical Secretariat of which is held by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), held in Prague (Czech Republic) its half-yearly meeting. The meeting brought together 57 participants from the 12 countries currently taking part in the Network. Network members represented ESF (European Social Fund) Managing Authorities and the bodies responsible for policies targeting the Roma community or the body to which it delegates its authority and since recently the ERDF (European regional development fund) managing authorities.

One of the key elements of the meeting was the working session to debate on the first draft of the Guide for local authorities and regions on the use of Structural Funds for the social integration of Roma that the EURoma Network will publish in July together with the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission (DG Regional Policy). Several representatives from local and regional administrations joined this session to share their own experiences regarding the management of Structural Funds. Representatives from the Xunta de Galicia (Spain), the regions of Emilia Romagna (Italy), Kosice (Slovak Republic) and Braila (Rumania), along with the local authorities of Gabrovo (Bulgaria), Brno and Obrnice (Czech Republic) and Tarnabod (Hungary) provided input for the drafting of the Guide.

The Guide is intended to be a very practical tool for local and regional administrations with a two-fold objective:
- Stress the local and regional dimension in the social inclusion of the Roma population;
- Encourage local and regional administrations to use Structural Funds for the inclusion of Roma population, providing guidance on how to do it, the processes, the approaches, etc.

The meeting also featured the latest developments in the EU agenda. European Commission’s representative Ilona Negro (DG Justice) presented the EU Framework for national strategies on Roma integration released by the Commission on 5 April.  Dominique Bé, of the European Commission Unit in charge of coordinating the ESF, focused on the contribution of the Structural Funds to the future national strategies on Roma integration and Alexandros Tsolakis, of DG Regional Policy closed the round of presentations of the European Commission presenting the latest developments regarding art. 7.2 of the EDRF which allows interventions in the field of housing

The meeting ended with the presentation of the experiences of Czech Republic, the host country for this meeting, in relation to the use of Structural Funds, both ESF and ERDF, for the inclusion of Roma population.

The next meeting of the Network will take place in October 2011 in Hungary.

To obtain further information on the meeting, please contact the Secretariat of the Network at info@euromanet.com 

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