The third Integrated Plan for the Roma people in Catalonia was approved the past 22nd of July. The new Plan represents the continuity of Integrated Plan for the Roma people in Catalonia which was covering the period 2009 – 2013. This new Plan has the objective of maintaining and intensifying the positive aspects of the previous Plan and also improving those aspects that may approach better results regarding with the implication and the participation of the Roma population in all the process, the framework contextualization of the public policies for Roma people at the European, National, regional and local level; the collaboration and the permanent dialogue with the local authorities and, finally, the consonance of the research findings with greater impact, that are contributing to improve the situation of the Roma people.
The Plan has already structured according to the European agenda where the Roma issue has been acquiring an increasing relevance in the last years, especially in policies related to social inclusion and the promotion of equal treatment. The European Commission has recently established a new framework of guidelines for the Roma people urging European governments to define and implement new actions lines to improve living conditions in the field of education, employment, housing and health.
- The Third Integrated Plan for the Roma people in Catalonia has four general aims:To define specific action policies in favor of Roma population from Catalonia basing on the successful experience that scientifically has proved in the promotion and inclusion of Roma people.
- To develop new strategies to implement successful actions in the fields of education, employment, culture, health, housing, media and promotion of associations.
- To equate socioeconomically Roma people in Catalonia at risk of social exclusion in society.
- To promote Roma culture as part of the Catalan culture, making diffusion of their values and their contribution to the country’s culture.
In order to achieve these objectives, concrete targets have been set for the different areas: enhancing Roma language, reducing truancy and drop out, increasing the number of students, empowering Roma associative network, reducing the number of settlements of Roma families and ensuring adequate conditions of sanitation and hygiene, improving the employability of the Roma population, ensuring the principle of equal treatment in programs and news related to the Roma people and transmitting enriching elements of their culture.
A plan designed and developed by Roma people
In the elaboration of this Plan an especial emphasis has been put on the real implication of Roma people in the definition of policies that concern them. Thus create and make possible different spaces of participation. The team of renovation of the Integrated Plan of Roma has been formed by:10 Roma people representatives of organizations, one person of the Roma Studies Center of the “Universidad de Barcelona” (UB), the advisor attention to the Roma community of the Generalitat and the second vice president of the Plenum of the Advisory Council of the Roma in Catalonia.
In addition, the Advisory Council of the Roma People, principal organ of participation of the Plan, that he has had the participation of 21 representatives of Roma entities, has been commissioned to validate the content and all the process of renovation as a whole.
Finally, the Integral Plan of Roma People’s Interdepartmental Commission is the collegial interdepartmental organ that has worked in a comprehensive and cross-cutting manner the Integral Plan’s policies with the aim to integrate it into the active policies of the different departments of the “Generalitat de Catalunya”.
One of the challenges of the Integral Plan in this new stage is to improve the diffusion and the impact of interventions in the neighborhoods in order to favor them in coming with more intensity to the Roma citizens not associated.
The aim is to ensure that the Plan is of Roma people and to feel it as their own. Therefore it has been considered important to incorporate the “Pativalé Manusa”, an internal organ formed by respected Roma people. They should be the channel of communication between the Plan and the territory. This figure is essential for the Roma people.