PAIRS

 

The Roma minority is the largest ethnic minority in Europe.

 

Ap-proximately 10-12 million Roma live in Europe, approximately68% (7.5 million) of them in countries covered by the SEE pro-gram. Despite various of programs and initiatives targeting them, Roma communities in SEE are still exposed to discriminationand social exclusion.
The pre-accession and other EU funds of-fered several financial opportunities for SEE countries aimingat the integration of Roma and other disadvantaged groups, andtackling (mostly separately) the abovementioned main problemareas. However, these subsidies have only partially reached thetarget groups, or even if they reached them, long-term impactand sustainability of the results was not ensured.At the same time, while effective methods exist across the SEE area, their results and lessons learned are often not adopted bynational and EU programming bodies. Successful initiatives arecommunicated to the policy level in an isolated way, and oftendo not get sufficient attention and recognition.

 

There is no co-ordinated dialogue between policy/programming bodies and ex-pert institutions (NGOs) implementingthese innovative projects and methods,and as of today the possibilities of bot-tom-up programme influencing initi-ated by NGOs were very limited.Therefore PAIRS partners are approach-ing these challenges in a complemen-tary, transnational manner, preparingconcrete measures on the ground bycapitalising of each other’s experiencesand know-how.

 

 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

The PAIRS project aims at collecting those good examples ofsectoral and local polices that have served effective inclusion of Roma communities in eight countries, and provides a platformfor international exchange of knowledge and expertise in orderto facilitate the inclusion of the Roma minorities throughout theregion.
The treatment of Roma both in the European Union and beyondits current borders has become benchmark of human rights, andactions targeted to the inclusion of these groups. Such inclusioncontributes to development because the integration of Roma canrelease underexploited human-social energies.PAIRS tackles a three-fold challenge goal: first, based on in-depthanalysis, it gathers the successful but fragmented actions andmethods for integration; second, it transfers this knowledge tothe national and local level decision makers which do not reachthe critical mass in order to influence national and local levelpolicies and programming and which is not appropriately dis-seminated/transferred; and third, it fosters cooperation with thecivil society and other stakeholders in policy design and plan-ning in eight countries.PAIRS partners approach these goals in a comprehensive andtransnational manner, and facilitate the up-scaling of workingtools in the field by capitalizing on the partners’ experiences andknow-how by:• Elaborating methodologies of existing good practicesand programmes in the SEE context which are effective in reach-ing the target group and ensure long term integration of the Roma;•
Facilitating the streamlining of lessons learned fromthese initiatives to the European and national level program-ming for a better design of Roma integration mechanisms.

 

PROJECT MAIN RESULTS

 

Existing good practices/methods of integration are identified,analyzed and disseminated in eight countries.
Elements of good practices are transferred to local and nationallevel through action plans, thus, they contribute to a future scale-up of these solutions in all partner countries.• Key stakeholders of Roma integration are engaged in policydialogue and mutual learning, as a first step towards enhancedpolicies and evidence-based programmes in eight countries.
A common methodology for selected fields of Roma integrationis elaborated.
EU and national level policy recommendations are formulatedon the desirable orientation of funding programmes of 2014-2020 period.

 

The PAIRS network sustains the interactive knowledge ex-change and dialogue amongst practitioners even after the projectlifespan.