The Faces of Roma Migration to the EU

Steady and growing fears and prejudices towards migrants in EU countries and Roma in particular shape the public and the political debate. The negative image of Roma results in hate speech, shaped in nationalistic movements and constraints the governments from investing in inclusion policies. The joint project of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, NGO Links and CEGA Foundation will highlight the successful stories of Roma migrants. The research will unveil the economic, social and financial effects of the labor migration of Bulgarian Roma to Spain and the Czech Republic. It will set a special focus on the levels of labor market integration and will develop a comparative analysis of the push/pull success factors through data study and case studies aimed to gather life stories of successful migrants in 6 places. The proposed project sets out to juxtapose statistical data and data from public opinion research outlining the stereotypes, attitudes and perceptions of the Roma with actual positive examples and facts about well-integrated Roma families derived from the personal life stories collected in the three project countries. An online platform “The Faces of Roma Migration” with visual life stories and useful information for the migrants will be used as an advocacy tool aimed at changing popular perceptions and policy decisions. Based on the research outcomes a focused advocacy effort will be made to bring together Roma migrants and decision-makers on local, national and European level to ensure that the deficiencies of the current employment policy for the Roma unveiled by the comparative analysis are addressed. A Roma Fellow will be actively involved in all stages of the project – research, advocacy and promotion. The advocacy campaign aims to support the achievement of the project strategic goal, namely, to advocate for the establishment of evidence-based labor market integration policies for the Roma. The media campaign strategy is a combination of attractive awareness-raising activities amongst a broad audience through social media, print and online publications, and expert public discussions. The key recommendations in the final policy paper will aim to address the deficits, identified in the research, and will be addressed to stakeholders on different levels: national and European public institutions, local authorities, NGOs and business.

Period: October 2015 - January 2017
Coordinators: Anna Ganeva, Milla Mineva
Financing Organisations: Think Tank Fund - Open Society Foundations
Partners: NGO Links, Sofia; CEGA Foundation
Social Contexts European Union