The kick off event of the regional joint European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE) Programme, ROMACTED “Promoting Good Governance and Roma Empowerment at Local Level”, took place on 22 February 2018 in Tirana.
The event brought together senior representatives of Albanian local authorities, community action groups, Roma and pro-Roma civil society, development agencies and international community. The event served as a platform for inter-Institutional exchange and coordination on the implementation of the National Action Plan for Integration of Roma and Egyptians in Albania.
In the welcoming note, Claus Neukirch, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, highlighted the ongoing CoE contribution to improve the legal and policy framework on human rights (HR) and antidiscrimination (AD) and their implementation at local and central level, in line with European standards.
For Sylvain Gambert, the Deputy Head of the Political, Economic and Information Section of the EU Delegation to Albania “ROMACTED is an example of EU support to Albania and the entire region, particularly in the implementation of Roma specific policies at local level. “I wish that the seven municipalities that joined the project will become models to be replicated in the rest of the country and in the region”- he added.
Aurora Ailincai, the Head of the Strategic Partnerships Unit within the Roma and Travellers Team of Council of Europe, congratulated the mayors for joining the project relying on their continuous commitment to the Roma integration at local level.
A tripartite framework of partnership for the implementation of the ROMACTED Programme was signed between the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and each of the municipalities of Elbasan, Pogradec, Korca, Fier, Roskovec, Vlora and Permet.
The paintings of the artist Sead Kazanxhi, member of the Alliance for European Institute for Arts and Culture, were exhibited during the ROMACTED Launching conference, as a representation of the Roma art in Albania.
The launching conference was anticipated by the national training on Participatory Local Strategic Planning, organized on 21 February in Tirana, focusing on the ROMACTED methodological steps that will be implemented in the upcoming months during the participatory planning processes in the seven targeted municipalities.
ROMACTED Programme aims at building up political will and sustained policy engagement of local authorities to enhance democratic local governance and empowerment of local Roma communities. It is implemented by the Council of Europe’s Roma and Travellers Team and the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes and it will target approximately 50 municipalities in seven beneficiaries in Western Balkans and Turkey.