Mobile Teams for Roma inclusion in 30 municipalities were granted with the cars and laptops aimed at facilitating the performance of their tasks within a program funded by the European Union. The car keys were awarded by Mr Sem Fabrizi, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and Mr Zoran Djordjevic, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs.
Ambassador Fabrizi emphasised that the European Union is participating in such projects because one of its fundamental values is the assistance and solidarity with vulnerable groups. So far, the EU has invested EUR 11.4 million in assistance projects, while another EUR 20 million stands ready for further investment.
“Cars will enable representatives from municipalities to visit Roma communities and to provide services which would not otherwise be possible, as some of them live in remote areas. This is a part of a wider project we are implementing. We have formed 50 local teams to help these communities and now we are giving them the opportunity to connect with them” noted Ambassador Fabrizi. According to him, some of the activities of the EU in Serbia are related to the provision of grants to the non-governmental sector dealing with the Roma community.
“When it comes to such sensitive issues, coordination between the authorities at the local and central level is very important, because policies are created at the central level, but life takes place at the local level,” said the Ambassador.
The programme “EU support for Roma inclusion – Strengthening local communities for Roma inclusion” has been implemented by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities since 2017, and financed by the EU, while the main beneficiary is the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs.
“We are grateful to the European Union for the donation of these 30 vehicles. The experience you have with mobile teams will be, for sure, very useful for us and it will be certainly mirrored in Serbia. Also, I believe that everything I said as a wish is going to become a way to achieve our goals faster, “emphasised Minister Djordjevic.
At the end of his address, he noted that the Roma people are part of Serbia, and its equal citizens, and announced that the state will do everything so that they truly feel like that.
Mr Djordje Stanicic, SCTM Secretary General, said that the goal of the programme that has been implemented with the EU is that Roma population becomes a part of a wider society in Serbia. He estimated that mobile teams play a very important role in the strengthening of the overall position of Roma in local communities.