EUROCITIES published a report with findings and lessons from the study visit it organised to Timisoara on 12-14 June 2018. This activity is part of the EUROCITIES mutual learning programme for cities working on Roma inclusion at local level, which receives funding support from the European programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSi) under the strategic partnership with the European Commission DG EMPL.
The study visit followed the ‘critical friend review’ method developed by EUROCITIES. Visiting city experts acted as ‘critical friends’ to provide constructive feedback to the host city with suggestions for areas to improve in its local action plan for Roma inclusion. Based on the knowledge and understanding gained through four site visits, four presentations and three days of dialogue with the host city, the ‘critical friends’ identified the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats presented by the local action plan for Roma inclusion. The safe space for exchange between city experts on equal footing led to open discussion based on mutual trust and respect driving an effective mutual learning.
The study visit concluded that positive results are already being achieved with the Roma inclusion action plan in Timisoara, but there is room for improvement in some areas. The director of Social Services Department of Timisoara took on board the constructive feedback and committed to a set of actions to improve the local Roma inclusion action plan for 2019.
This mentoring study visit has proven the added value of mutual learning between peer cities as the best way to build capacity of local authorities for improving policies and practices with a positive impact on local communities and towards social rights for all.
What did the participating cities learn from Timisoara? What did Timisoara learn to improve in its approach to Roma inclusion? Find out the answers in the report below.