From 11 to 15th of July 2016 the ECMI organized a first round of activities in Skopje and Belgrade within a project on access to social rights for vulnerable groups. Implemented by the ECMI and the FUEN, the project is part of a joint initiative of the GIZ and the Schleswig-Holstein State Chancellery.
The first activity of the project: Module 1, envisioned trainings for representatives of the local municipalities and NGOs dealing with Roma issues in 4 target countries (BiH, fYROM, Kosovo, Serbia). The aim of the trainings was to introduce the local participants to the protection of minorities in Schleswig Holstein and establish a network. In addition, the project team aimed to gather information for planning the next activities. For that purpose, some of the questions for the participants included: what are the crucial issues on vulnerable groups and social rights in the region? What specific activities would be relevant for the participants during their visit to Schleswig-Holstein?
The trainings involved sessions on specific mechanisms available in Schleswig Holstein for vulnerable groups for a better access to social rights, on work of the FUEN and the ECMI as well as thematic presentations on social inclusion and anti-discrimination. The participants had a chance to present their work as well and identify main gaps and challenges. Hidden discrimination of Roma, lack of institutional support, efficient cooperation between governmental and non-governmental sector, and financing, as well as other resources were among the discussed challenges. The participants expressed their interest in the Danish-German border region and exchanging practical experience on Roma integration and cooperation between NGOs, social centers and municipalities.
As a next project activity, FUEN will organize a study visit in the Danish-German border region in end-October. Further information will be announced on the FUEN and the ECMI websites.