The Roma Civil Monitor 2 Workshop for the NGOs took place in Budapest on 13-15 September, bringing together the national coordinators from the EU countries to engage in capacity building, sharing the main findings from the RCM so far, engaging in discussions on topics with trans-national relevance and plan the development of the thematic reports to delivered in 2023 and providing the RCM central team and the national coordinators with mutual feedback of their collaboration within the RCM 2021-2025 initiative.
The Workshop began with the training on using the mystery shopping method for identification and documentation of discrimination – this methodology is particularly suitable of systemic or institutional discrimination.
The method was developed and piloted in three member states (Bulgaria, Czechia and Hungary) within a project “New methods in data collection on discrimination against Roma in public services (ADinPS)” implemented by Central European University, Budapest Institute (Hungary), Center for Interethnic Dialogue and tolerance – Amalipe (Bulgaria), ROMEA (Czechia), Autonomia Foundation (Hungary). The training was lead by Agota Scharle from Budapest Institute.
The workshop continued with the presentations from all the participating countries using specifically pre-designed posters. The posters remained displayed on the walls during the whole workshop for the national coordinators to read them later and discuss them with the country’s representative at any time.
Next day started with the feedback discussion on the mutual cooperation within the RCM2 project, facilitated by Balász Varadi. This was a safe space to ask any questions on the RCM2 initiative management, suggest the changes and (possibly) voice any frustration – with the purpose to find a solution or at least understanding.
Following this animated discussion, the second day was focused on the feedback on the first RCM1 country reports and their use in NGOs’ advocacy, planning and implementing the “Sustainable participation” and “Capacity-building” components as well as a session on communication and dissemination at the national level.
The third (and final) day was split into planning the development of the transnational thematic reports – with many suggestions by the participants ranging from segregartion in education to the (mis-)treatment of Ukrainian Roma refugees in the receiving countries.
The workshop was concluded with a special session by the EC on current development in the EU Roma inclusion policy, particularly on the Cohesion policy support (ERDF, ESF+) for Roma inclusion in 2021-2027 programming period by Teresa Epalza (DG EMPL) and Otilia Ciobanu, as well as the policy updates by Marcela Adamová from DG JUST.
The workshop provided the coordinators and the consortium not only with a much clearer workplan for the future actions, but also with the much needed energy and inspiration exchange only a live meeting can provide – leaving the team looking forward to continuing the work.