Increasing Roma participation in policy making shortlist

Create opportunities for Roma youth to be involved in creating policy for the Romanian Roma community


Who is behind this?

Martina Orlea


Who is joining forces?

Policy Center for Roma and Minorities


Funky Citizens


Forum Apullum


Even though I have not signed these partnerships, I worked in the past with these organizations, that have experience in the 3 pillars of my proposed idea: Roma rights, civic education, and advocacy


Idea pitch

There is no debate about how discriminated against is the Roma community in Romania. Even though there are Roma representatives in the Parliament, they are not connected to the community and the Roma social inclusion policy is driven forward by EU directives and not by the community. This project aims to change that by educating a new wave of Roma youth to draft a new policy proposal for social integration and work with a representative to have it approved.

Where will your project idea take place?

Calarasi, South-East Romania

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Calarasi and the counties surrounded by it (Ialomita, Dambovita, Giurgiu and Ilfov) have some of the highest numbers of Romani people in Romania. These counties are also wrecked by poverty, school abandonment, with the main source of income being agriculture. Romani people are 3 times more likely to suffer from poverty than Romanians.
This project aims to engage the Romani youth from these 5 counties, through a program headquartered in Calarasi, in better understanding their communities' problems, create local action groups to increase citizen participation and support them in drafting a piece of policy to encourage Roma social and economic inclusion.

Who are you doing it for?

The main target group of this project is the Roma population in the aforementioned counties (Around 100,000),
However, the project will only work directly with only 30 young Roma activists, which will then reach more numbers through their community projects.
We also plan to target from a communication point of view Roma representatives in Parliament, to show them that they should source their policy ideas locally and the Romanian representatives.

How do you plan to get there?

There will be 4 main phases of the project:
1. a 7-day activism and policy camp for Roma young leaders, where they will start building their changemakers network and learn about the policy process and how they can get directly involved
2. local projects: after the camp, participants will have 5 months to implement projects locally to build activism networks and get locals involved in the policy process
3. a 7-day policy drafting camp where Roma leaders will draft the piece of legislation they want to get to parliament
4. A parliament sponsoring session where they will interact with interested representatives and try to build a partnership with some of them to actually get their legislation to the parliamentary debate

What are the expected results?

In a year from now, members of Parliament will be debating the first piece of legislation drafted by Roma people in Romania. At least 30 young people will be more aware of their roles as citizens and will have more trust that citizens can actually change something using democratic instruments,

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

This project aims to form a new generation of young Roma activists that will be directly involved in the policymaking process. The project aims to bring the citizen, the subject of the legislation, into the middle of the drafting process.
These young activists will also work as community catalysts by implementing active citizenship projects in their own home communities, engaging also people that might not be interested in getting actively involved in politics.
With the end scope of actually getting legislation to parliament, this project aims to build the first grassroots sourced policy for Romas in Romania,

Why is this idea important to you?

I am very close to the Roma minority, even though I am not a Roma myself. I have worked with them and I am always enraged by the discrimination they face, by the social inequality they face and that lawmakers are not trying to find solutions for them.
Even though Romani people have been slaves on Romanian territory for 400 years, people still do not acknowledge that it is our duty to ensure that their voices are heard and to offer them all the support we can to reduce inequality.
I am tired of seeing lawmakers talking about them like they are just a social parasite and only proposing policies that are helping corrupt local leaders, but not the community.

€ 29000,-

Total budget

€ 29000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

10000 Logistic Costs for Camp
10000 Financial Support for Local Projects
5000 Personnel Costs
4000 Marketing Costs

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

I would like to meet other people who have worked before in strengthening democratic involvement for minorities.



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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