Amalipe Center refuses to participate in the current process of drafting the vague document called “National Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Roma Inclusion and Participation 2021 – 2030”
The process of elaboration of the current National Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Roma Inclusion and Participation 2021 – 2030 is chaotic and without the participation of a broad representation of stakeholders, in particular Roma civil society. The working version on which this process builds is weak, yielding both to the opportunities provided by the EU Strategic Framework for Roma for Equality, Inclusion and Participation and to some of the main achievements of the current National Strategy for Roma Integration. The process takes place in an extremely inappropriate pre-election period and the driving motive in it is the desire to formally respond to the requirement for the unlocking conditions 4.1.8, which refers to the programs co-financed by the European Social Fund. There is a real danger that a non-functioning National Strategy will be developed and the process will be used to increase anti-Roma discrimination in the pre-election period.
Due to all the above, we insist:
- The new strategic document for equality, inclusion and participation of the Roma to be drafted after the parliamentary elections. It is unreasonable for such an important document to be drafted at the very end of the mandate of a certain government, especially against the background of its planned adoption only by a decision of the Council of Ministers. The adoption of such an important document by a decision of the Council of Ministers at the last meeting of the Council of Ministers is categorically unfounded. The argument that this is one of the unlocking conditions that are mandatory when providing the first working version of the Partnership Agreement cannot justify the adoption of a weak strategy. It is necessary for the new National Strategy for Equality, Inclusion and Participation of the Roma to be developed and adopted by the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly, which will be relevant to its implementation. It is logical that this will happen after the elections on April 4.
- The new strategic document should be prepared with the real participation of a wide range of Roma organizations, mediators, teachers and other stakeholders after a broad consultation process at local, regional and national level. This consultation process should also reach Roma neighborhoods. We insist that discussions be also organized with educational mediators and teachers (including of Roma origin), health mediators and doctors (including of Roma origin), labor mediators, non-governmental organizations and civic groups;
- The National Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Roma Inclusion and Participation 2021 – 2030 to be developed and adopted, together with an Action Plan, a new implementation mechanism and a new monitoring mechanism. They need to be set clear responsibilities and funding for the actual implementation of the strategic document. The elaboration and adoption of the whole package of accompanying documents is a prerequisite for achieving the envisaged goals;
- The elaboration of the new National Strategy and its accompanying documents should not be carried out only by the National Contact Point and other administrative units, but should include the participation of the main politicians related to the integration policy – Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers responsible for key areas, Chairman of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination , National Ombudsman, etc. Their participation and real commitment are a necessary precondition for the new document to contain real political commitments that cannot be made by experts and other administrators.
Based on all of the above, the Amalipe Center refuses to participate in the current process of drafting the vague document called “National Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Roma Inclusion and Participation 2021 – 2030” until the above shortcomings are eliminated and a broad consultation process is guaranteed.