PROGRAM FOR POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT

Challenged by the dynamic political context of the country, the program for political empowerment of the Roma community in the next three years will focus its work in the following program priorities:

 

  Strategic goal: Exercising the rights of Roma guaranteed by the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA)      
 

Priority area | Use of language and symbols

Priority goal: Promotion and using the Roma language and symbols

  1. Specific objective: Use of the Roma language and symbols in the municipalities where a greater percentage of Roma live.
     

Despite the fact that the OFA guarantees the use of language and symbols at the local level except in Shuto Orizari, other municipalities do not devote themselves to the development of culture, use of language, language learning within the educational system and the use of symbols of the Roma community. Guided by the positive practice of the municipality of Kumanovo which, through the council, decided that the Roma language should become an official language in the municipality, even though the Roma community does not fulfill the article that stipulates that it takes 20% of the total population to belong to a certain ethnic community for the language to become official. Today Roma counselors have the opportunity to use their mother tongue. It is also necessary for other municipalities to follow this positive practice because it enables Roma to feel proud of their identity.

         

 

  Strategic goal: Increasing political representation of Roma and ensuring good governance of the elected officials      
 

Priority Area: Elections and good governance

Priority goal: The Roma community exercises its right to vote through an informed choice.

  1. Specific objective: Education of informed voters

2. Specific objective: Accountability and availability of elected officials before and after the election

     

Republic of North Macedonia in the last few years very often organizes elections whereby the votes of the Roma community are most often abused in favor of certain political subjects. A large part of the Roma community does not vote according to their beliefs, that is, they are not informed about whom and for what exactly they vote. Also, a large part of the Roma community does not go out to vote in elections due to lack of information, passivity, pressure to vote for a particular political party, while one part does not go out voting because it has lost confidence that their vote can change something.

         

 

  Strategic goal: Channeling Roma priorities into the national and EU agenda through targeted and mainstream public policies      
 

Priority Area: Negotiations of the Republic of North Macedonia with the EU

 

Priority goal: Integration of Roma to be part of the Republic of Macedonia's accession negotiations

 

  1. Specific objective: Participation of Roma in the process of integration of the country into the EU

2. Specific objective: Inclusion of the needs of Roma in public policies in Macedonia

     

The Republic of North Macedonia, with the Prespa agreement, steps towards resolving the dispute with the Republic of Greece, and thus towards the start of negotiations for EU and NATO accession. However, the Roma integration in the Republic of Macedonia continues to be only declaratively presented by the state and politicians without taking more serious steps. Although the screening process has started, and the chapters are very likely to begin soon, it is very likely that Roma are not participating in the working groups. Roma incompetence in these processes will mean the omission of the needs of the Roma community.

         

 

  Strategic goal: Sensitizing national and local institutions for the existence of the Antigypsyism      
 

Priority Area: Antigypsyism

Priority goal: Raising awareness at the institutional level for Antigypsyism

1. Specific objective: Raising awareness at the institutional level of antigypsyism

     

In the Republic of North Macedonia, the concept of antigypsyism is still reflected in the prism of discrimination, without having in mind that the antigypsyism is a broad concept of racism expressed towards the Roma community. Also, the Roma community is not informed exactly what antigypsyism is, although they face various forms of antigypsyism on a daily basis. The insufficient information of state institutions about the existence of an institutional antigypsyism contributes to expanding the specific racisms toward Roma without anyone being held accountable.

         

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Dimitrie Cuposki 25/1
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia

[email protected]