The credibility of fundamental rights activities among colleagues and superiors is enhanced when a direct link can be established to EU policy developments. This may warrant consulting public officials and experts from other Member States where similar issues are being, or have been addressed. Linking to successful fundamental rights initiatives in other EU Member States helps to establish a precedent.
Inviting officials from other EU Member States for a study visit can boost confidence among colleagues. Comparing ideas can enrich the design and implementation of activities. By learning from other projects, problems can be avoided, new tools discovered and a network of colleagues can be developed that may be a valuable source of peer support and encouragement.
City networks: If working in a local administration, you can contact the growing number of city networks which are dedicated to city-to-city learning and sharing knowledge on fundamental rights. An example is the work of EUROCITIES on poverty and exclusion. It seeks to enable city administrators to exchange views and experiences on programmes and projects put into practice in their cities. EUROCITIES organises meetings, seminars and conferences on this subject. It also monitors and informs local governments on the EU policy developments that affect them and offers members the opportunity to engage through projects and events.
Local authorities striving to include their Roma populations
The European Commission has prepared an interactive map of regions, cities and municipalities that are committed to integrate their Roma population and that have joined initiatives to support them reach this goal. Several initiatives are supporting local authorities to plan and implement strategies for Roma inclusion and apply for national or EU funding. They providing local authorities with expertise and opportunities to learn from each other and share experiences:
- Open Society Foundation's Mayors Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma Inclusion Network (MERI) brings together municipalities from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, and at a later stage from Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and the Czech Republic to exchange good practice, establish services for Roma and support the use of EU funds by local communities. For more information see: MERI
- The EUROCITIES Roma inclusion task force promotes exchanges of good practice, awareness raising from the city perspective on EU mobility and Roma inclusion, and access to funding for local policies on Roma inclusion. MERI and EUROCITIES also support an East-West exchange programme to transfer good examples of inclusive and accessible local services from western to eastern Europe and improve services for Roma moving from eastern to western Europe. For more information see: EUROCITIES Roma inclusion task force
- Council of Europe's European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion supports local and regional authorities in exchanging experiences and practices, organises thematic workshops and training or study visits, and shares information on policies and sources of funding. For more information see: European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion
- Urbact Roma-Net project is a partnership of nine European cities to inform and support city partners to develop local action plans for the social inclusion of young Roma and their transition into active adult citizens. For more information see: Urbact Roma-Net project
Find links to more city networks in Resources