A new joint action between the European Commission and the Council of Europe, aimed at setting up a European Academic Network on Romani Studies, concluded on a programme of a two-year duration (June 2011 – May 2013).
The project reflects a DG EAC initiative on Intercultural Dialogue leading to an initial brainstorming in 2009, a follow-up meeting in March 2010, gathering some 40 experts in the field who discussed the interest and feasibility of the future network, and more recently in March 2011, a consultation between some eminent academics on Romani Studies and representatives of the European Commission and the Council of Europe, on objective criteria to be set for membership, the nomination and the role of a scientific committee and the recruitment of the secretariat of the network.
The project builds upon networks and results of the work on Roma education and inclusion carried out by the Council of Europe.
The overall aim of the project is to facilitate intercultural dialogue and support efforts towards the social inclusion of Romani citizens in Europe. The project will raise the visibility of existing research and foster cooperation with policymakers, by providing evidence for better conceived policy initiatives. One of its key roles will be to provide references and guidance to policymakers and young researchers.
The network will involve recognised academics working on Romani studies, as well as junior researchers who could be mentored, thus creating a true interdisciplinary community of researchers. Access to the network will be permanently open to all experts with relevant expertise on the basis of agreed and transparent criteria.
The network itself, possibly through a scientific committee composed of a restricted group of academics, will develop mechanisms to generate common positions on policy issues and debates. It will establish co-operation with civil society organisations and policymakers. Moreover an observer status could be given to relevant civil society organisations.
Activities of the network will mainly consist of:
They will be defined and steered by the scientific committee with the assistance of a secretary and an assistant. The management of the project itself will be jointly overseen by the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Each institution has appointed a coordinator/contact person.
Coordinator of the Commission: Eac-Culture@ec.europa.eu