Swiss Romanian Cooperation and Best Practices for Successful Inclusion of Roma People

Swiss Romanian Cooperation and Best Practices for Successful Inclusion of Roma People

The Swiss Contribution Office in Bucharest and Roma Education Fund organised on April 29, 2015, a Conference intended to highlight how projects adapted to local specificities and oriented towards solutions to real needs of Roma people and vulnerable communities can improve both health and educational outcomes, and intercommunity relationships.

The event took place at the Roma Culture Museum and gathered around more than 60 participants, among whom there were the Swiss Ambassadors to the region (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia); representatives of Romanian public institutions; partners of the Swiss Contribution Office, and representatives of NGOs.

Among the speakers and contributors at the discussions were Jean–Hubert Lebet, Ambassador of Switzerland to Romania; Enikő Lacziko, Secretary of State, Department for Interethnic Relations; Thomas Stauffer, Head of the Swiss Contribution Office Romania;  Luiza Maria Medeleanu, young Roma professional; Mihai Ioana, Mayor of Gradinari; Mircea Toma, Chairman of the Board, Active Watch; Melinda Kardos, Psychologist within the Caritas Project; Mihaela Onea, Coordinator at Diakonia Foundation; Cristi Buceanu, Local Councillor of Frumusani commune; Radu Răcăreanu, Project Manager, PACT Foundation; Nicoleta Bitu, Head of the Centre of Roma Studies at SNSPA, President of Romano Butiq and initiator of the Museum of Roma Culture; Mattia Poretti, SDC Regional Advisor for Social Inclusion.

The projects presented at the Conference are developed in the framework of the Thematic Fund for the “Social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups”, part of The Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme. The objectives of the Thematic Fund for Roma Inclusion is to support Romania in promoting the social inclusion and participation in the socio-economic life of Roma people and other vulnerable groups. The priority areas of the programme are education, health and economic empowerment.

The Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme, implemented between 2009 and 2019, oversees the financial contribution for Romania approved by the Swiss Parliament in 2009 as a participation of the Swiss Confederation to reducing economic and social disparities within the European Union. The funds allocated to Romania under the Swiss financial contribution, amounting to 181 million Swiss francs (CHF), were committed 100%, within the deadline set by the bilateral agreement to this effect. Over 250 projects were approved during the commitment period. Areas and projects were selected in terms of their relevance to Romania's development: promoting economic growth and business support, improving working conditions, promoting sustainable energy management, improve public safety and security, education, research and strengthening of the civil society.

OMA Vision contributed to the success of this event being the communication consultant for the Swiss Contribution Office in Bucharest, in charge with the organization of the event, communication concept and media relations.