Today, the European Commission announced the 14 winners of the fifth EU Award for Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Türkiye. This year’s award recognises achievements promoting the Roma inclusion dimension in the Digital Agenda and Green Economy. The award ceremony took place in the framework of the 2023 EU Roma Week (24-27 April 2023) hosted by the European Parliament.
Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said: “Congratulations to all the winners for their great work! I hope this award will help expand their important activities, so that they can inspire other actors who want to change Roma community for the better.”
Launched almost 10 years ago, the EU Award for Roma integration in the Western Balkans and Türkiye aims to highlight the importance of Roma integration in the EU Enlargement process and to show the EU’s determination and commitment to improving the social inclusion of Roma people into society and to provide tangible results on the ground.
With the Award, the EU recognises all efforts and tangible results to empower Roma people to reach their full potential as full members of the societies where they live and work.
The focus of this year’s edition was Roma inclusion in the digital agenda and the green economy, which represent new opportunities for improving the position of vulnerable Roma women and men, and young Roma in the region in the future.
Roma inclusion dynamics is affected by the society progress, including the field of digital agenda and green economy and we need to be sure that Roma are not left behind. Therefore, in order to be ahead in improving the living conditions of Roma people and their participation, it is important to build strong measures that respond to these challenges, by providing opportunities to facilitate the access in education and employment, health and social services and as well community mobilisation.
The winning civil society organisations received a monetary award of €7,500 for the first prize, and €4,500 for the second prize. While private and public sector winners received non-monetary awards. All winners were awarded with a study visit in Brussels, a trophy and an award certificate.
This year we received 59 applications/nominations, and 14 projects, two per country, representing the Western Balkan partners and Türkiye, have been chosen for their outstanding contribution. The awardees have been chosen for activities such as:
- Advocacy and lobbying resulting in the adoption and implementation of legal frameworks, strategies and action plans contributing to building and/or increasing digital literacy, access to digital education, employment, and services and empowerment through digital solutions for Roma.
- Efforts delivering concrete and sustainable results to assist Roma digitalisation of their companies, access to distant education
- Education, training, mentoring resulting in increasing use of digital skills and presence of Roma youth in the green economy and digital employment
- Support resulting in improved transfer of technologies, know-how and competencies.
- Combating antigypsyism in the new challenging digital era
- Specific actions favouring Roma women empowerment
- Roma Entrepreneurship initiatives resulting in increased opportunities for Roma in the field of green economy and digital agenda
The commitment of these organisations, individuals, and private and public institutions to combatting for Roma inclusion has improved the economic prospects of hundreds of Roma men, women, and young people but has also advanced Roma’s integration into society at large.
The EU Roma integration award aims to give visibility, boost political commitment and support for Roma inclusion in the Western Balkans and Türkiye, focusing every two years on a different subject. The award is funded by the European Union and implemented by Roma Active Albania.
For more information
- List of winners
- Winners’ brochure
- Video series