8 April 2011 Participants of the public hearing

8 April 2011 Participants of the public hearing

Friday, 8 April 2011

Public Hearing Held on “Analysis of Existing Situation … Improvement of the Position of the Roma and Implementation of the Decade of Roma”

To commemorate the International Day of the Roma, the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations organised a public hearing in cooperation with the Sub-Committee on issues concerning the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma on the “Analysis of the existing situation regarding the implementation of the Strategy for the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma” at the National Assembly House on 8 April.



To commemorate the International Day of the Roma, the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations organised a public hearing in cooperation with the Sub-Committee on issues concerning the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma on the “Analysis of the existing situation regarding the implementation of the Strategy for the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma” at the National Assembly House on 8 April.

Greeting all present, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Judita Popovic stated that, according to the answers to the Questionnaire Serbia handed in to the European Commission, most researchers estimate that about 450,000 Roma live in Serbia and the state should take part in the Roma inclusion strategy prepared by the European Commission. Popovic stressed that Roma inclusion is one of the priorities of Hungary’s presidency over the EU in the first half of the year.

Minister of Culture, Information and Information Society Predrag Markovic pointed out the need to first analyse the circumstances and living conditions of the Roma population, highlighting the importance of channeling funds for the right purposes. Markovic stated that in 2010 the Ministry allocated about 20 million RSD for 26 different projects to assist the Roma community and culture. Minister Markovic announced the creation of a Council for the Preservation and Cultivation of the Roma.

The Chairman of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations Miletic Mihajlovic said that the education of the Roma nation is one of the priorities for the continuation of the Decade of Roma. Mihajlovic stated that 80% of Roma are illiterate or partially-literate, that only 5% have high-school diplomas, while only about 0.2% have a higher education. He underlined the need for an efficient and effective policy, adding that even though a lot has been done towards that end, it is still not enough.

Greeting the participants, EU Delegation to Serbia Deputy Head Adriano Martins said that the EU financed the projects aimed at improving the position of Roma, adding that in the upcoming years it would invest 11 million EUR into education for both pre-school and elementary school students, for school-leavers and Roma teachers.

UNDP Resident Representative in Belgrade William Infante said that some progress has been achieved since the Decade of Roma was launched in 2005, but it is necessary to include as many Roma children as possible into the education system. Infante stressed the need to complete a census and identification of all the Roma, with the help of the Serbian Government, as well as abolish the fee paid for the issuance of birth certificates and other documents.

Jovan Damjanovic, deputy and NSRNM Culture Committee Chairman, Antje Rotemund, Director of the Council of Europe Office, Tinde Kovac-Cerovic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Science, Slavica Denic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Ljiljana Lucic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ljiljana Dzuver, Assistant Minister of Economy and Regional Development, Vladimir Cakarevic, Advisor at the Ministry of Health, Bozana Lukic, Advisor at the Spatial Planning and Housing Sector at the Ministry of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning, Ivan Georginov, Assistant Director of the Commissariat for Refugees, Zarko Sunderic, Manager of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Implementation Team at the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Bozidar Djelic, Nenad Vasic EB NSRNM and Ljuana Koke from the Office for the Implementation of the Roma Strategy all took part in the public hearing.

The public hearing was chaired by Vitomir Mihajlovic, Sub-Committee Chairman.


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