The first Advisory Group Meeting was organised on 4 May 2023 in Sarajevo, within the second phase of the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme ROMACTED - Promotion of good governance and empowerment of Roma at local level. Close to 50 representatives of the partner municipalities, Community Action Group members, central-level stakeholders and members of international community gathered together in order to reflect on previous period and jointly plan next steps and synergies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The opening panel was chaired by Ms Marina Vasić, ROMACTED II Programme Manager, and the welcome speeches were given by Mr Vahagn Muradyan, Deputy Head of Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, Ms Saliha Đuderija, National Roma Contact Point and Ms Ajsa Adrovic- Beslagic, EU Delegation Programme Manager.
Mr Muradyan highlighted the importance of having the Strategy and National Action Plan for Roma Inclusion, underlying that the Council of Europe has various bodies to closely monitor the implementation of polices related to Roma inclusion, as well as potential Human Rights violations through the monitoring cycles of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
Ms Adrović-Bešlagić emphasised the importance for Roma to be an equal part and driving force of change, highlighting the importance of “with Roma for Roma” as a key concept in promoting active participation.
Ms Djuderija underlined that the Ministry is fully involved in the implementation of Phase II of the ROMACTED Programme, and importance of the local level towards greater integration of Roma.
The Support Team, Ms Maja Grujic, Project Officer, and Mr Nedzad Jusic, Focal Point, reflected on the achievements and challenges in the previous period, and most importantly, the fact that the small grants that will be implemented during 2023 in all the twelve partner municipalities.
The meeting was followed by the following two sessions:
- Analysis of the situation, conclusions, and recommendations for more transparent budgeting at the local level, the continuation of discussion on Roma responsive budgeting at the local level, which started in 2022 as a synergy with the Regional Cooperation Council
- Presentation of tools for monitoring the Action Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the social inclusion of Roma and Roma women 2021-2025 with a focus on the local level. The monitoring tool for the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion of Roma, was developed in cooperation with the MHRR and will be adapted accordingly to be applicable to Local Action Plans that ROMACTED is supporting in twelve partner municipalities
ROMACTED II Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue its work on Roma inclusion at the local level and directly contribute to the implementation of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion of Roma 2021-2025.