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Ref. DC 004(2014)

Council of Europe launches ROMACT and ROMED2 initiatives in Italy

Strasbourg, 16.01.2014 – Council of Europe flagship projects ROMACT and ROMED2, aiming at improving the inclusion of Roma people in areas such as housing, education and employment, will be launched in Milan (Palazzo Reale, Sala Conferenze, Piazza Duomo 14), on Saturday 18 January (10  a.m.). Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, Italian Minister for Integration Cécile Kyenge and Italian Vice Minister of Labour and Social Policies Maria Cecilia Guerra will be amongst the keynote speakers of the event. Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan, will start the opening session (to be confirmed). Vice-President John Warmisham will represent the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

The ROMACT programme will run in Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia with a focus on building the capacity and political will of local and regional authorities to develop and implement strategies and policies for Roma inclusion. ROMACT is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and it is implemented with the support of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion. ROMED 2 is the second phase of the existing project (ROMED), conceived for encouraging and facilitating Roma communities to take part in democratic governance through mediation.

An overview from Italian pilot municipalities and local communities (Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples, Bari and Pavia), together with successful examples of national involvement of Roma, Sinti and Camminanti representatives will be part of the programme. Luigi De Magistris (Mayor of Naples), Michele Emiliano (Mayor of Bari), and Alessandro Cattaneo (Mayor of Pavia) will be present. Contributions from Jeroen Schokkenbroek (Special Representative of the Council of Europe’s Secretary General for Roma issues) and from Zeljko Jovanovic, Director of Roma Initiatives at Open Society Foundations are also envisaged. Programme of activities will include training, mentoring and technical support for putting commitments into practice.

The initiative is open to the media and a press conference is scheduled at 11 a.m..

Contact : Giuseppe Zaffuto, Media officer, Spokespersons’ Service, Mob. +33 6 86 32 10 24