Mainstreaming, Empowering and Networking Roma Communities as Full Participants in Post Crisis Management, Good Governance and Development of a Sustainable Civil Society in South Eastern Europe

11 February 2003

The undersigned Romani and non-Romani participants of a conference including representatives of:

The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia;
The Ministry of Public Information of Romania;
The Presidency of the Kosovo Assembly;
The Municipality of Suto Orizari, Macedonia;
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe;
The European Roma Rights Center;
Catholic Relief Services; Roma Heart;
Roma National Congress;
Association of Young Roma Researchers;
Roma Center "ARKA";
Rroma Women's Association "For Our Children";
Roma Association "Esma";
International Romani Union;
Balkan Union of Egyptians;
Aven Amentza;
Romani CRISS;
Roma Community Center "Drom -- Kumanovo";
as well as other representatives of governmental and inter-governmental agencies, and other domestic and
international non-governmental organisations;

Have resolved as follows:

With deep concern at the fact that, in recent months, - Germany has expelled reportedly over 10,000 Roma to Serbia and Montenegro, including Roma from Kosovo, ethnically cleansed from the province from 1999 onwards;

  • In an atmosphere thick with anti-Romani sentiment, France and Romania have entered into close cooperation to assist in the so-called "voluntary repatriation" of Roma to Romania from France; at the same time Romanian authorities have stopped Roma from leaving Romania, in violation of their fundamental human rights;
  • The United Kingdom has expelled groups of Czech Roma on camera and for the media, apparently in an attempt to humiliate them, and to scare off more Rome from coming to Britain;
  • And other, similar events, all part of anti-migrant Fortress Europe policies deeply infected by anti-Romani sentiment.

Conference participants:

  • Affirm the principle that migration is a fact; policies defining migration as a problem lead directly to the humiliation of millions of people and insult the ancestors of everyone;
  • Condemn unequivocally as fundamentally degrading to all Roma on-going policies and actions by European governments aimed at forcing Roma to go to Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, infected as they are with anti-Romani sentiment;
  • Express grave concern that government policies aimed at forcing Roma to go to the countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe corrode and corrupt with the anathema phenomenon of racism the societies of Europe, as well as deliberately and senselessly give rise to the threat of serious human rights abuse of Roma, in contravention of international law and basic European values;
  • Call upon Western European governments to cease immediately the systematic expulsion of Roma from Western Europe and to provide: (i) the surrogate protection guaranteed by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ("1951 Geneva Convention") to any and all Roma who are determined to be refugees; (ii) comprehensive policies to integrate Roma into the societies in which they live.
  1. Rudko Kawczynski (Roma National Congress)
  2. Florin Cioaba (International Romani Union)
  3. Letitia Mark (Gypsy Women's Association "For Our Children")
  4. Nadica Balog (Roma Heart -- Croatia)
  5. Radmila Zecirovic (U.R. Amarilis)
  6. Tom Wilson (Romani CRISS)
  7. Rud Fenk
  8. Brahim Music (Terninano Berno -- France)
  9. Viktor Famulson (International Romani Union)
  10. Vasile Burtea
  11. Ciprian Meale
  12. Zenelj Berisha
  13. Rubin Zemon (Balkan Union of Egyptians)
  14. Haxhi Zulfi Merxha (Presidency of the Kosovo Assembly)
  15. Sejdo Jasarov
  16. Asmet Elezovski (Roma National Congress)
  17. Zeljko Jovanovic
  18. Nadire Selman (Roma Association "Esma")
  19. Claude Cahn (European Roma Rights Center)
  20. Martin Demirovski
  21. Nezdet Mustafa (Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia)
  22. Zivoin Mitrovic (Roma Heart)
  23. Costel Bercus (Romani CRISS)
  24. Nora Costache
  25. Jelena Jovanovic
  26. Pellumb Fortuna
  27. Ferhat Hasan
  28. Erduan Iseni (Municipality of Suto Orizari, Macedonia)
  29. Danijela Antonisevic (Romani Women's Center "Heart")
  30. Magda Matache (Romani CRISS)
  31. Ragalie Florea
  32. Loghin Dina
  33. Zainea Stefan
  34. Ivan Gheorghe (Partida Rromilor)
  35. Nicolae Gheorghe


Challenge discrimination, promote equality


Receive our public announcements Receive our Roma Rights Journal


The latest Roma Rights news and content online

join us

Find out how you can join or support our activities