The first Advisory Group Meeting of the ROMACTED Programme took place in Podgorica on 16 May 2019, bringing together the main relevant stakeholders at central level and the local teams of the eight partner municipalities. The aim of the meeting was to take stock on the advancement of the programme in Montenegro, present the situation analyses at municipal and community level, and provide recommendations for the upcoming implementation during 2019.
The head of the EU Integration, Programming and Implementation Department at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Tatjana Anđelić, said that the Government of Montenegro is committed to creating and implementing policies for faster social inclusion, as well as improving the economic situation of Roma and Egyptian population.
"Local level and municipalities have a particularly important role in this process. The Government and the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights will continue to implement, within legal norms and effective institutional mechanisms, a policy of sustainable solutions for the socio-economic integration of the Roma and Egyptian population," said Anđelić.
Programme Manager in the European Union Delegation to Montenegro, Mladenka Tešić, said that the gap between what was adopted at the state level and the implementation, which is crucial at the local level, and which is largely dependent on the understanding of the capacities and political will of individual municipalities, is often recognized.
She pointed out that eight municipalities were selected to participate in the programme and that, in addition to the usual problems they faced at the local level, they showed political will and readiness to work diligently for Roma inclusion.
The ROMACTED Programme manager of the Council of Europe, Roma and Travellers' Team, Marcos Andrade, explained that the programme is being realized through participation and dialogue with citizens and it is very important to deal with all aspects of life in one community.
"We attach much importance to the process of engaging and involving the community, to create a culture of participation and communication, communion, mutual understanding, responsibility and sustainability," Andrade said.
Presentation of the preliminary results of the two situation analyses: Dr Olivera Komar, Milan Radović, Nemanja Batričević, Sanja Elezović (CoE) and Mladenka Tešić (EUD).
The meeting was also an opportunity to hear about the preliminary results of the two recently prepared situation analyses at the municipal and community level. The research has been conducted by external experts, who were contracted under ROMACTED Programme.
The members of the support team and main actors at the local level (community members and municipal contact points) had a chance to share their observation regarding the preliminary results of the analyses in the two remaining panels of the meeting.
The concluding remarks were addressed by the ROMACTED Programme manager, Marcos Andrade.
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. In Montenegro, it is implemented in eight municipalities: Bar, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Herceg Novi, Nikšić, Podgorica, Tivat and Ulcinj.