• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  

     

  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.

     

  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today

     

Calendar Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Roma

Roma inclusion is a hot topic here in Brussels, especially in view of the recent EU Framework on national Roma integration strategies just adopted. We also know how important it is for Eurodiaconia members to share with others about their work with local Roma communities. For this reason Eurodiaconia established a Roma Network in 2009, and the Network has been growing and developing. The Network meets annually but we also send out a monthly Roma Network e-news covering Roma specific EU policy news, events, calls for proposals and resources and publications. If you have information to share with the Network such as an event announcement or a publication that you would like to feature in an issue of the Roma e-news, please feel free to send me the information at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Eurodiaconia has written a policy paper on social rights for Roma as well as a briefing for our members which accompanies which explains how to get involved in Eurodiaconia’s Roma work as well as how to use the policy paper.

• Policy paper: Social Rights for Roma
• Briefing: Social Rights for Roma

If you would like more information about Eurodiaconia’s work on Roma issues, please contact Catherine at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Eurodiaconia holds side event on an integrated approach to Roma inclusion at the EPAP Annual Convention

1 December 2014

On 20th November, Eurodiaconia organised a side event at the ‘European Platform against Poverty Annual Convention’, which is an event organised annually by the European Commission. Eurodiaconia was selected to partner with other European organisations to organise a side event on ‘Active inclusion for Roma: an integrated approach to Roma inclusion’.

Speakers at the event included ERIO, EAPN, and representative from the European Commission’s Roma Team in DG Justice.

Catherine Mallet from Eurodiaconia opened the event explaining some of the key EU tools that could support an integrated approach to Roma inclusion, including the 2008 active inclusion Recommendation, but also the recent Recommendation (2013) on ‘effective Roma integration measures’. She also highlighted the role of the National Roma Contact Points that should ensure an integrated approach to Roma inclusion as they oversee the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies, as well as the need for cross-sectoral policies at EU level across the Commission DGs for example.

Mr Ivan Ivanov, Director of ERIO (the European Roma Information Office) highlighted the increasing number of civil society actors getting involved in Roma issues and that the EU had also become more active after realising the gravity of the situation. Many policies aimed at the social inclusion of Roma have failed for a variety of reasons he said, including a lack of strategic focus (strong emphasis on pilot projects with temporally limited funding; lack of sustainable programmes/policies), low levels of Roma participation in public life (Roma are not involved in the public debate on Roma issues, a lack of an integrated approach (targeting both poverty and discrimination), a lack of political will (politicians fear the consequences of helping Roma due to the rise of extreme nationalism) and finally high levels of discrimination against Roma (also structural/institutional, fuelled by media).

Paul Ginnell from EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network) gave a presentation on the active inclusion approach and how it could be applied to Roma communities. He highlighted that active inclusion was not the same as a comprehensive overarching strategy to combat poverty and social exclusion, but a key element in implementing one. He also stressed what active inclusion is NOT, i.e. activation with an employment only focus. He explained the benefits of the three pillar approach of access to services, inclusive labour markets and adequate minimum income.

Three presentations of good practice interventions from local level initiatives were given from Eurodiaconia member EHO (Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation), Eurocities member from the City of Glasgow (Scotland) and ERGO Network member from Czech Republic.

Ms Stanka Jankovic from EHO presented their Award winning project “Social Inclusion and Improvement of living conditions of Roma” which is aimed specifically at improving the quality of housing for Roma. The project has not only upgraded houses and improved sanitation standards, but also had a positive impact on school attendance and employment. The project stresses the participatory aspect which is essential for sustainability and ownership. She explained that this inclusive, ‘dweller driven approach’ has proven to be an effective way to create partnerships between the Roma community, state institutions and municipalities, and is currently being applied to wider areas across Serbia.

Mr Gordon Smith from the City of Glasgow (Eurocities member) presented their work with Roma in a number of deprived areas in Glasgow with diverse ethnic populations, including Roma. He explained that they had to develop, implement and monitor an Action Plan. They provided a number of services to work with the Roma communities, and offered employment and training/educational opportunities such as construction skills, CV preparation, interview skills, building confidence, ESOL courses as well as providing money advice, access to benefits and bank accounts.  He stressed the need to always take the long-term view but also the importance of partnership.

ERGO representative Kumar Vishwanathan from the Czech Republic showed success stories (video) of Roma and non-Roma Czech communities living together in social cohesion. He also gave an example of how top down housing solutions from the local municipality as a bad practice example, because they had not asked the Roma people what they wanted.

Representative from DG Justice, Ms Axelle Cheney explained that the EU is aiming at an integrated approach at various levels: it recognises the fact that Roma inclusion should focus both on poverty and discrimination; it comprises multiple aspects, including education, employment, health and housing; it focuses not only on Roma but also on other disadvantaged minority groups and it entails various policy tools which offer space for broad stakeholder involvement. Ms Cheney explained that every year, progress made in EU Member States is assessed through an annual report, to which civil society stakeholders have access and can contribute. The EC has set up a network of Roma contact points (in each Member State, there is one contact point responsible for coordinating the Roma inclusion strategy. Finally she highlighted that the Council recommendation on “effective Roma integration measures’ from December 2013 was not formulated by the EC, but by Member States, which means that EU member states have committed to proactively engaging in Roma integration  and that stakeholders should remind them of this commitment.

Mr Paul d’Auchamp, from the European office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded from the various interventions that a key issue is the lack of implementation at national, regional and local level. He said that although the EU has invested a great deal of energy into its Roma inclusion policies, and overall, these are sensible policies, the main challenge lies at a national level. Civil society stakeholders have an important role in this; they should urge member states to demonstrate more commitment and coherence regarding implementation. Also, there is a need to increase participation by Roma (“you can’t support Roma without involving them”) and to emphasise recognition of Roma culture. We need a human rights-based approach he stressed, pointing out that UN procedures can help with this and enable closer cooperation between the EU and the UN.

For more information about this event, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Send us your assessment of the National Roma Integration Strategies

3 November 2014

Eurodiaconia, together with CCME is writing a report on progress made in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies. This report will be sent to the European Commission as well as the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) who carry out the official annual reporting. As civil society, it’s important we monitor progress made (or not) and keep governments accountable to their commitments.

We would very much like to get some written contribution from all our members who work in the areas of Roma inclusion. If this is you, please fill in the online survey HERE or email me for a Word version if you prefer.

The deadline for any contributions is 26 November.

If you cannot answer all of the questions, please just answer where you can.

If you have any questions about this exercise, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Updated Roma policy paper and briefing out now

3 November 2014

Eurodiaconia has recently updated its Roma policy paper and the accompanying briefing which was written in 2010. Many thanks to those members who contributed to the updating of the policy paper. The briefing explains how members of Eurodiaconia can best use the policy paper in their work internally and at local, regional and national level. The Eurodiaconia secretariat in Brussels will distribute the policy paper and use it to feed into our advocacy work at EU level

Download the policy paper here

Download the briefing here

 
MigRom project first year results

3 November 2014

MigRom ("The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: Causes, effects, and future engagement strategies") is a research consortium funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.  The MigRom project, in partnership with Manchester City Council and Sure Start (Longsight), operates weekly drop-in consultation sessions for Roma in Manchester. A first year report and statistical evaluation is now available here

To know more about the project, visit the website here http://romani.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/migrom/index.html

 
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