A two-day regional workshop on budgeting for Roma integration policies, organized by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Roma Integration 2020 project (RI2020), took place in Skopje on 20-21 March 2017. Workshop participants discussed public financing and budgeting for Roma population in Western Balkan economies.
“Policies and budgets are where governments begin to translate their commitments to Roma into practical steps towards integration and equality. Too often, however, they fail to ensure that public services respond to Roma needs and priorities,” underlined Orhan Usein, RI2020 Action Team Leader, in his opening remarks.
“All the EU-aspiring economies have a joint responsibility to improve the lives of its Roma citizens. It is valuable that Roma integration continues to be a key priority in the enlargement process as reiterated in the most recent European Commission’s assessment. A good monitoring system is essential to point out to what works and what doesn’t so that scarce financial resources are not wasted. RI2020 is striving towards a regional standardized monitoring and reporting model.”
The workshop acquainted the participants with principles of synergies between strategic planning and budgeting for Roma integration policies. It facilitated awareness rising of developing Roma-sensitive budgets, provided tools on budgeting for Roma integration policies and exchanged good and bad practices on these issues both on the regional and the EU level.
The new RI2020 website was also presented at the meeting. It is available at http://www.rcc.int/romaintegration2020/.
The event gathered more than 60 governmental officials from the Western Balkans working in the respective line ministries in charge of the five policy priorities (employment, education, housing, health, and budget), including ministries of finance and National Roma Contact Points, European Union Delegations, and civil society representatives.
Roma Integration 2020 project is implemented by the RCC’s RI2020 Action Team, with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). RI2020 is implemented in 6 Western Balkan economies (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Turkey.