MINELRES: Fwd: Bulgaria: Declaration of Stolipinovo on Romani issue

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Tue Nov 12 11:15:01 2002

Original sender: Valery Novoselsky <eli-ari@zahav.net.il>

-----------------Forwarded message---------------
From: Iliya Dimitrov <kgostol@yahoo.com>

Declaration of Stolipinovo

Coalition of Citizens Organizations - Stolipinovo

Stolipinovo, suburb of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is with 40.000 inhabitants the
largest Roma Ghetto on the Balkans. This provides us the right of voice,
which should be heard in Europe.

12 years  after the  beginning of democracy  change 7 million  Roma in
Eastern Europe  are daily  faced with unemployment,  hunger, miserable
housing in ghettos, absence of adequate healthcare, insufficient
schooling  and a lack of perspective for social development.

If the countries of the EU did not want that the Roma from East move
westwards as refugees and illegal laborers, they should confront the
applying for membership in EU eastern countries with following
important  political criteria, which should be evaluated every year.

1. Obtain an adequate representation of Roma in the democratic bodies -
Parliament and municipal councils.

In Bulgaria, where are 600.000 Roma on a total population of 8 million,
this means that 15 - 20 Roma should be members of Parliament. Their
absence means that the Roma have no democratic representation and that
their rights are not defended.

2. Annual decrease of unemployment of Roma with 15%, which is actually
in several East countries about 90%.

If this is not realized, nobody should be surprised that Roma keep
fleeing to West to find food as refugees and illegal workers.

The Development Aid for Roma communities coming from the EU should be
continued in a responsible way. The western tax-payers should be certain
that his money is well spent. The most important problems are:

Corruption, which stay on the way of western development aid to the
East. Often the way of corruption begun  from the personnel of the
western development aid organizations, programs and institutions.

The low degree of effectiveness in the aid has following reasons:

* amounts are spent as priority on conferences, seminars, evaluations,
research, consulting-fees, travel-expenses, imitation and pseudo -
activity with very limited result.

* monopoly of control of spending of aid through a limited circle of
privileged organizations – international and state institutions and
NGO's. Many people from their personnel grown incredibly rich in a few

When the EU aid should not strand in corruption or pseudo–activity it is
absolutely necessary that the EU-countries:

1. Reduce the possibilities for corruption trough creating transparency.
This can be obtained through publishing of detailed budgets and the
detailed content of all financed projects on the web–sites on the
responsible programs, as well as published in the press. Publishing only
of resumes of projects and only of  total amounts of grants is umbrella
for corruption.

2. Implement concrete quantitative and qualitative indicators for
evaluation of the progress of the projects.

3. Evaluate and eliminate factors which lead to monopoly of people
organizations at providing of development aid.

4. For the social development of the Roma community it is very important
to involve the Roma citizens organizations themselves and not to have
them depending on a chain of mediators.

We trust we may expect for the European Institutions a responsible and
effective policy for an integration of the Roma in United Europe. Roma
on the Balkans need:  political representation, labor, transparent and
effective aid for social development

Plovdiv. 8th November 2002

Coalition of Citizens Organizations - Stolipinovo