In the aftermath of the adoption of the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation on 7 October 2020 and at the initiative of the European Parliament, the European Commission launches a continuation of the Roma Civil Monitor initiative for the next four years (2021-2025). The project with the full title “Preparatory action – Roma Civil Monitoring – Strengthening capacity and involvement of Roma and pro-Roma civil society in policy monitoring and review” will involve at least 90 Roma and pro-Roma civil society actors from 26 EU Member States (Malta is not included).
This follow-up initiative to the Roma Civil Monitor pilot project 2017-2020 will be implemented by a consortium of Roma and pro-Roma civil society organisations, including the Central European University (CEU), the European Roma Grassroots Organisation Network (ERGO Network), Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC).
Over the next 48 months, the new Roma Civil Monitor aims at empowering and capacitating Roma and pro-Roma civil society organisations and individual activists to monitor the implementation of national strategic frameworks for Roma equality, inclusion and participation and other relevant policies. In addition, it will facilitate dialogue and equal partnership between Roma and pro-Roma civil society, National Roma Contact Points, Equality Bodies as well as other stakeholders to make Roma inclusion public policies more effective and support mainstream public policies to better address challenges of Roma exclusion.
Through regular reports, views of civil society will be shared with policymakers and the public, with a focus on the implementation of national Roma strategic frameworks and assessments of relevant policy and legislative developments.
“RCM has joined a relentless search for reinvigorating the politics of participation despite the permanent danger of complacency, co-optation, and silencing that these activities may face. Civil society monitoring is hoped to become part of the wider structures of policy formations through critical review of decision-making processes and outcomes against the multitude of social exclusion problems. It is also believed that civil society monitoring of policy formations facilitates practices by which the Roma move away from being subjected to forms of therapy and progress to empowerment, partnership and greater self-organisation,“ says Violetta Zentai from the CEU’s Democracy Institute, which is leading the RCM implementation in the EU.
In the upcoming weeks, calls for civil society at the national level to join the initiative will be published at the webpage of the Roma Civil Monitor 2021-2025.