THE FUTURE OF THE NATIONAL ROMA STRATEGY

The Roma minority in Macedonia after the independence was part of the public political life through the political parties and the Non- governmental organizations (NGOs). However, the policies for Roma were more visible and effectively implemented through the civil society, than the political parties. In addition, the policies were mainly funded by external funders meaning, international organizations, foundations, private donors 1 . Furthermore, 2004-2005 was the period when Macedonia more actively was negotiating with the European Commission (The Commission) to be part of the European Union (EU). Consequently, the improvement of the situation of Roma has become one of the requirements for Macedonia as a candidate country following the EU Conditionality for respecting the human rights (Chapter 23). Hence, as part of the EU enlargement process, the cooperation between the Roma political parties (being part of the Government) and the Roma civil society began to be more visible. In January 2005, the Macedonian Government adopted the National Strategy for Roma (NSR) as well as developed the National Acton Plans (NAPs) consisting the four policy areas: employment, housing, health, and education. At the same time, the Decade for Roma and the NSR were the two policy documents specifically oriented towards the Roma minority in Macedonia. Within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP) in 2008 was set up the Department for Implementation of the NSR and the Decade for Roma. This department was coordinated by the Minister without portfolio, the National Coordinator of the Decade and the NSR in cooperation with the MLSP. Later the cooperation was continued with the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA) and the EU Delegation in Macedonia...  

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