What we do

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International Action[editar]

Tecnical Asistance

In 1999, the FSG commenced cooperation with Eastern European countries with the project Technical assistance regarding Roma policies in Slovakia and transfer of best practices. This two-year long project was developed with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation Development (AECID), with the office of the Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister for Human Rights and Minorities as a counterpart. Its goal was to provide technical assistance through the transfer of Spanish approaches and experiences, mainly in Slovakian municipalities and social entities. Study trips to Spain and training seminars in Slovakia were organised and The Roma population in Spain and Slovakia. Keys action strategies handbook was published.

In 2004, the FSG signed a technical assistance agreement with the Council of Europe Development Bank for the Identification of projects aimed at improving the standard of living of the Roma population in Eastern European countries such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Improving the standards of living of the Roma population has always been on the Council of Europe’s agenda, and therefore, this project intended to identify various initiatives that, in accordance with certain viability, sustainability and suitability criteria could finally be supported by the Bank.  After several months of analysis, conversations, and proposals with different contacts in the five beneficiary countries, the Foundation presented its final report in July 2004.

In 2006, the FSG launched an international cooperation project based on technical assistance in the Balkans, a new geographical area for the FSG, and one in which there is a large Roma population who is clearly at a disadvantage compared to other minorities and the rest of the population. This is partly exacerbated by the recent situation of conflict that the area has experienced. With the support of the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation (AECI), the Foundation is carrying out the project entitled Support for the Roma Council in the incorporation process of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a participant State in the Decade of Roma inclusion. The main objective of this initiative is to offer guidance to the different agents, mainly the Roma Council, in the drafting of national housing, education, and health schemes within the framework of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s National Strategy for Roma.

The FSG will bring its experience and knowledge to the drafting and subsequent approval of these plans, through, participating in working groups, and organising seminars to discuss these schemes, which in addition to improving the standard of living of the Bosnian Roma population, will make it possible for the country to be part of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 initiative.

Bilateral twinning (PHARE Twinning) is a formula created by the European Commission in which a Member State of the European Union supports and advises the administration of a candidate country in a specific field during its integration process into the European Union. Created in 1997, it is the main cooperation instrument for European governance, in which the FIIAPP (International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies), as an intermediary between the Commission and the national administration, plays a leading role.

The projects are based on institutional strengthening and capacity-building, guidance on the design and implementation of policies, and training key players. In these types of projects, the Pre-Accession Advisor, the leading expert in charge of implementing the project, works directly in the beneficiary country. The FSG’s first experience of this type of project was in the Czech Republic with the project Fostering Ethnic and Racial Equality (2000 -2002). Here, the FSG developed the project in partnership with the UK Ministry of Home Affairs, with the Czech Department of Human Rights as a counterpart. The aim of the project was to support the Czech government in the design and development of its legislative and institutional framework to combat racial discrimination.

In 2003, the FSG launched the project entitled Improving policies targeting the Roma population in Hungary. For a period of 21 months, the Pre-accession Advisor was responsible for coordinating actions of institutional strengthening in the Hungarian Government’s Office for Roma Affairs, which consisted mainly in technical advice on plans and measures aimed at the Roma community, and training the personnel at that Office. During the course of the project, many visits and meetings took place with different key players, which made it possible to conduct a thorough analysis of the institutional framework as well as its practical implementation. All of this was used in the subsequent drafting of the final proposals and recommendations for the Hungarian Government.

During the course of 6 months in 2004 (Twinning Light), the FSG once again carried out the project Combating the social exclusion of the Roma community in the Czech Republic. The project helped to support and guide the Czech government’s Office of the Council for Roma Affairs in designing an institutional model that coordinates and implements actions targeted at the Roma population, and improving the impact that employment, social affairs, and housing policies have on this population. Many analysis and proposal documents were drawn up, and several training seminars were organised in various Czech cities.

In 2005, the FSG launched the project entitled Promotion of ethnic tolerance in the Russian Federation (Udmurt Republic). These projects, with the same format as the PHARE-Twinning projects, were not carried out with European Union candidate countries, but with third party Eastern European countries known as TACIS (Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States). It was the first time that the Foundation had worked in this geographical area outside of the European Union and its candidate countries. Implementing this project has posed a major challenge to the FSG, but has also helped to open new possibilities of cooperation. The objective of this one-year project was to create collaboration mechanisms between the central government, town halls, ethnic associations, and the media in order to promote ethnic tolerance in a country with over 70 minorities.

Best Practices Exchange

The FSG has developed two specific projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania. In both cases, the FSG has opened an office and has set up a local work force, trained directly by the FSG and closely monitored from Spain. The objective of both schemes is to transfer one of the most successful and well-known projects carried out by the FSG in Spain: the ACCEDER access to work programme.

 ACCEDER’s first transfer scheme took place in the city of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) where the project began in March 2008, funded by the AECID, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y Desarrollo). After various stages of adapting to the context and situation of the country, 2009 saw the consolidation of the work carried out since the system opened in the country’s capital. This project ended in 2010 and made it possible for the team to consolidate institutional relations, raise public administration awareness, disseminate the programme, attract users, develop training programmes, and to produce diverse employment opportunities in the context of a recession.

Funded by the European Social Fund in Romania and by the National Agency for the Roma in Romania between 2009-2011, the FSG has driven the adaptation and implementation of the ACCEDER model in eight cities in Romania: Bucharest ( Bucharest-Ilfov region); Călărași (South Muntenia region); Craiova South-East Oltenia); Timișoara (West region); Cluj-Napoca (North- East region); Alba Iulia (Central region); Piatra Neamț (North- East region); and Brăila or Galați in the South- East region).

The general objective of the project was to generate development by promoting the social inclusion of the Roma population (6,770 people) in the labour market throughout the country, providing opportunities to participate in a modern, flexible and inclusive labour market as well as access to permanent employment and the benefits that arise from being employed with full rights.

Our most important commitment is without a doubt to consolidate our action in Romania. For this reason, in 2009, the FSG created the Fundatia Secretariatul Romilor (FSR) based in Bucharest to directly manage projects in Romania aimed at improving the living conditions of the Roma population in the country.