The Annual Advisory Group Meeting of the ROMACTED Programme took place at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection in Tirana on 13 November 2018, bringing together the main relevant stakeholders at central level and the local teams of the seven partner municipalities. The aim of the meeting was to take stock on the advancement of the Programme in Albania and discuss on the up-to-date progress of ROMACTED Programme and provide recommendations for the upcoming implementation during 2019.
The Commissioner against Discrimination, Robert Gajda, underlined the continuous partnership of European Union and Council of Europe in strengthening the Albanian legal and policy framework on human rights and protection from discrimination. “ROMACTED is a good example in implementing specific Roma policies at local level” he said.
Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ardiana Jaku, congratulated the first accomplishments of the ROMACTED Programme, encouraging the necessity of tangible and concrete results for Roma individuals and families.
The Head of Office ad interim, Olsi Dekovi, thanked the institutional partners at central and local level, emphasizing the consolidation of community action groups (CAGs) and institutional working groups (IWGs) in the seven targeted municipalities through a commitment and ownership of the local stakeholders.
Alessandro Angius, EUD Representative, reiterated on the translation of the commitment of the ROMACTED municipalities towards Roma and Egyptian issues identified during the field work in their local budgets and the recruitment of Roma professionals in the local administration units as the best role models serving and offering services to vulnerable Roma and the mainstream society at local level.
Orsiola Kurti, ROMACTED Project Officer and Bledar Taho, Programme Focal Point presented the overall progress of the Programme in this first year, followed up by the current practices implemented in the Municipality of Fier, presented by Enkelejda Peshkepia, Deputy Mayor, and in the municipality of Roskovec and Korca presented by their local coordinators.
Merita Xhafaj, the National Roma Contact Point, appealed on the alignment of the Programme with the central government policies and the immediate need of the design of the Roma Integration Local Plans in line with the local social plans.
Doris Andoni, Head of the Housing Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Bekim Murati, General Director of the Agency for the Support of Local Government, Adelina Farrici, Executive Director of Albanian Association of Local Autonomy, Fran Brahimi – Director of Local Finance Department in the Ministry of Finance and Economy and local representatives provided their recommendations in the continuation of the programme activities.
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 and it is implemented in the municipalities of Fier, Vlora, Roskovec, Permet, Elbasan, Pogradec and Korca in Albania.