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The conference on the topic: "Integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo - the current situation and commitment after 2015 "

06.11.201315:04

On 5 November 2013, was held a conference that was co- chaired by the representatives of the Government of Kosovo and EU representatives. Topic of the conference was challenges and problems of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

Participants of the conference were agreed that the situation of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities is very concerning, because many members of these communities are still faced with extreme poverty and discrimination. EU and Kosovo have agreed to increase the budget, if necessary, in order to give priority to the implementation of the remaining activities of the Strategy and Action Plan for the Integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. Participants were also agreed that employment opportunities and economic empowerment of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, improving health and social conditions, as well as their civil registration, will contribute towards improving the general situation of their life.

Pierre Mirel, Director in charge of policy and strategy of the Directorate General Enlargement of the European Commission said that European Union strongly encourages Kosovo institutions to strengthen institutional cooperation and mechanisms of cooperation with relevant ministries, to improve cooperation between the central and local level as well as other relevant government bodies. On this occasion, he emphasized that cooperation with civil society and representatives of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities is also highly important.

Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku said "We have made progress in implementing of the strategy, however, this progress is not sufficient. We are aware that we must do more for integration of non- majority communities that will be enabled through better coordination of all levels. Through improving coordination between central and local level as well as the establishment of a new reporting system in the municipalities, I am sure that we will be able to have a more positive progress in the implementation of strategy for Integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. "

Speakers also insisted that local action plans for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians should be priority for those municipalities that have not yet adopted them, and pointed out the need for media campaigns to promote tolerance and integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

Representative of the Office for Community Affairs was Sanela Sadikovic.

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