Fourth edition of the Seminar on social inclusion of Roma in Serbia will be held on 19 October in Belgrade. The seminar is a biennial meeting dedicated to the status of Roma in the region organised by the European Commission.

Roma seminars are the main channel of communication between the European Commission/EU Delegation and Serbian authorities dealing with these issues. Operational conclusions adopted in June 2015 Seminar and the Action Plan for chapter 23 are key elements of the legislative framework for Roma inclusion in Serbia. Therefore, regular reports from the Government regarding their implementation are of crucial importance.

The meeting will be opened by Zorana Mihajlovic, Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Marta Gracia Fidalgo Roma Policy coordinator at the DG NEAR of the European Commission, Zoran Djordjevic, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Tefik Ramadanović, President of the Roma National Minority National Council, Tanja Miscevic, Head of Serbia’s EU negotiating team and Orhan Usein of the Regional Cooperation Council.

The Seminar will discuss actions to improve the status of Roma in education, implemented activities aimed at Roma employment and issues encountered in that area at the national and local level, social and health protection of Roma, housing and legalisation of Roma settlements as well as challenges and possible solutions to the issue of personal documents and the status of IDPs and returnees under the Readmission Agreement.

So far, Serbia has hosted three such meetings – in 2011, 2013 and 2015. On these regular meetings, the European Commission and Serbian authorities assess progress/state of play in the following areas: education, personal documents (i.e. registration of Roma and issuance of IDs), health protection, housing and employment.

In addition, Seminars adopt joint Operational Conclusions (measures to be taken by authorities in a certain period of time) whose implementation is regularly monitored later on.