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BACKGROUND The Roma minority is the largest ethnic minority in Europe. Approximately 10-12 million Roma live in Europe, approximately 68% (7.5 million) of them in countries covered by the SEE programme. Despite various of programmes and initiatives targeting them, Roma communities in SEE are still exposed to discrimination and social exclusion. The pre-accession and other EU funds offered several financial opportunities for SEE countries aiming at the integration of Roma and other disadvantaged groups, and tackling (mostly separately) the abovementioned main problem areas. However, these subsidies have only partially reached the target groups, or even if they reached them, long-term impact and sustainability of the results was not ensured. At the same time, while effective methods exist across the SEE area, their results and lessons learned are often not adopted by national and EU programming bodies. Successful initiatives are communicated to the policy level in an isolated way, and often do not get sufficient attention and recognition. There is no coordinated dialogue between policy/programming bodies and expert institutions (NGOs) implementing these innovative projects and methods, and as of today the possibilities of bottom-up programme influencing initiated by NGOs were very limited. Therefore PAIRS partners are approaching these challenges in a complementary, transnational manner, preparing concrete measures on the ground by capitalising of each other’s experiences and know-how.

PROJECT OVERVIEW The PAIRS project aims at collecting those good examples of sectoral and local polices that have served effective inclusion of Roma communities in eight countries, and provides a platform for international exchange of knowledge and expertise in order to facilitate the inclusion of the Roma minorities throughout the region. The treatment of Roma both in the European Union and beyond its current borders has become benchmark of human rights, and actions targeted to the inclusion of these groups. Such inclusion contributes to development because the integration of Roma can release underexploited human-social capital. PAIRS pursues a goal: first, based on in-depth analysis, it gathers the successful but fragmented actions and methods for integration; second, it transfers this knowledge to the national and local level decision makers which do not reach the critical mass in order to influence national and local level policies and programming and which is not appropriately disseminated/transferred; and third, it fosters cooperation with the civil society and other stakeholders in policy design and planning in eight countries. PAIRS partners approach these goals in a comprehensive and transnational manner, and facilitate the up-scaling of working tools in the field by capitalizing on the partners’ experiences and know-how by:

• Elaborating methodologies of existing good practices and programmes in the SEE context which are effective in reaching the target group and ensure long term integration of the Roma; • Facilitating the streamlining of lessons learned from these initiatives to the European and national level programming for a better design of Roma integration mechanisms.

MAIN RESULTS OF THE PROJECT • Existing good practices/methods of integration are identified, analyzed and disseminated in eight countries. • Elements of good practices are transferred to local and national level through action plans, thus, they contribute to a future scaleup of these solutions in all partner countries. • Key stakeholders of Roma integration are engaged in policy dialogue and mutual learning, as a first step towards enhanced policies and evidence-based programmes in eight countries. • A common methodology for selected fields of Roma integration is elaborated. • EU and national level policy recommendations are formulated on the desirable orientation of funding programmes of 20142020 period. • The PAIRS network sustains the interactive knowledge exchange and dialogue amongst practitioners even after the project lifespan.

Who are we? WHO WE ARE? The PAIRS partnership involves 18 (11 financing) partners from 8 SEE (5 member states, 2 IPA and 1 ENPI) countries where the exclusion of Roma population represents a high policy priority - Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. PAIRS presents a unique mix of stakeholders - local authorities, civil society organisations, national level policy makers, development agencies - who can effectively make the first step towards widely utilised, successful integration methods and enhanced, targeted, complex and effective programmes.



• Malteser Helps in Albania main activities focused on medical and social field in the districts of Shkoder; Malesi a Madhe, Puka and Lezha, interested to support the Roma population in the region. • TEULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency, Shkoder - local economic development agency, founded by the PASARP programme of UNOPS. • Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities represents the central government in Albania. The main areas of activity are: design legislation and policies regarding employment, vocational training, social protection for vulnerable groups (children, women, disabled persons, Roma minority, elderly people, migrants etc.), providing and protecting working environment.

• Foundation Open Society Institute - Sofia - non-governmental organization, working actively for the extension and guaranteeing of the inviolability of civil freedoms and the respect of fundamental human right. • AMALIPE Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance leading Roma organization that works for equal opportunities and integration of Roma in the Bulgarian society. Amalipe plays central role in organizing Roma civic movement and advocating for Roma integration. • National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues - coordination and consultation integration policy planned and realized by the government, methodological support to the district and municipal councils for cooperation on ethnic and integration issues and monitoring of implementation of the policies for integration of Roma.



• Hungarian Maltese Charity Service - the largest NGO and a key cooperating partner of Hungarian government agencies, and it has a substantial role in transforming policies into practice. It has 15 years of experience in using EU and other financial instruments aimed at supporting and integrating disadvantaged and marginalized groups and individuals. • Ministry of Human Resources, Office of the minister of state for social inclusion - the main responsibilities are: promotion of social inclusion of disadvantaged and Roma people; preparation and implementation of national strategies; planning of the national and co-funded social inclusion programs.

• Ce.A.S. Centro Ambrosiano di Solidarieta ONLUS - non-profit organization with thorough experience in managing and finding solutions for the problems of, youth, women, Roma and other vulnerable groups. • Municipality of Ferrara, International Relation Department and the Social Services & Immigration Department work in close cooperation in order to promote sound policies in the fields of social inclusion of vulnerable groups, European cooperation, and exchange of good practices. • Opera Nomadi - promotes training and social inclusion, education and vocational education in Gipsy communities.



• Impreuna Agency for Community Development - non-profit NGO founded in 1999 to preserve and assert Roma identity through research and the dissemination of studies, as well as through the elaboration and implementation of national social policies aimed at Roma. • National Agency for Roma is a national public authority governed by public law, set up in 2004 to ensure the complementarities of various public policies initiated at national and international level targeting Roma people, and to coordinate and monitor their implementation.

• Housing Center, Housing Development Center for Socially Vulnerable Groups - non-profit, NGO, aiming to improve the living conditions of socially vulnerable groups and support to their social integration and independence.


• Kosice Self-governing Re-

gion - implemented many pro-Roma projects aimed at education, health, migration, employment. • ETP Slovakia - Center for Sustainable Development - main mission is lifting disadvantaged Roma families out of poverty. • Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic is liable for all national policies related to social exclusion, in particular with respect to segregated and separated Roma communities.

Ukraine • Malteser Charity Organization in Beregovo Region - worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid with the status of a non-governmental organization.

Financed for a total amount of 1.828.420,00 €, PAIRS is one of the strategic projects connected to the Priority Axis 4 ‘Development of transnational synergies for sustainable growth areas’ of South East Europe Transnational Cooperative Programme for tackling crucial problems affecting metropolitan areas and regional systems of settlements. Project start date / end date 2012-10 / 2014-09

Contacts: Laszlo Moravcsik, PAIRS Project Manager, Denitsa Sacheva, PAIRS Communication Manager, Photos by: Radostin Manov Alexander Dimitrov Luba Vladkova

PAIRS Brochure in English