Eurodiaconia and two member organisations, Deaconess Foundation and Diakonie Deutschland, participated in the 15th Annual European Platform for Roma Inclusion, hosted in Prague jointly by the Czech Council Presidency and the European Commission on October 25th – 26th.

The Roma Platform came this year at a crucial time, as Member States have submitted their National Roma Strategic Frameworks and the Commission will soon release an assessment of these policy plans. Eurodiaconia submitted assessments of the national plans with input from members, which can be found here (LINK) and is looking forward to actionable feedback from the Commission that considers our feedback and concerns related to social rights, monitoring, and participation of Roma in the implementation of these frameworks. The Platform counted amongst it’s speakers Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, and several ministers from the Czech Republic. The speakers called for strong implementation of the Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion, and Participation 2020-2030 with an emphasis on equal treatment for refugees from Ukraine from Roma background, who have faced discrimination in accessing their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.

This year, several civil society organisations were also invited to attend the meeting of the National Roma Contact Points on October 27th, and Eurodiaconia was pleased to be included amongst other key civil society actors at the EU level working on Roma inclusion. Civil society representatives were invited to feedback on and offer support to the National Roma Contact Point, with the aim of fostering closer collaboration and exchange of information between stakeholders.

This year’s Roma platform highlighted the essential role of all stakeholders in combatting antigypsyism and ensuring full equality and participation of Roma. The motivation of the Czech Council Presidency to host the Roma Platform in Prague with the participation of many local Roma civil society actors should serve as an inspiration to other Member States to include Roma inclusion in their political priorities. Indeed, political will, strong policies, and good relationships between actors on EU, national, and local level is essential to making the National Roma Strategic Frameworks a success. Eurodiaconia and our members are committed to continuing to work in partnership towards this goal.