Romany associations will not establish umbrella organisation

Prague, 9. 6. 2005, 16:53 (CTK)

Representatives of Romany associations in the Czech Republic agreed that they would not seek the establishment of the umbrella organisation which would represent all Romanies, Gabriela Hrabanova from the Athinganoi society told CTK today. The decision was made by representatives of seven Romany associations and the central Bohemian Romany coordinator at a recent meeting in Prague, Hrabanova said.

Certain Romany organisations have been calling for the establishment of one umbrella Romany organisation for several years. Last April, the Parliament of Czech Romanies was established and it had the ambition to be the representative of all Romanies in the Czech Republic. However, some Romany organisations have had objections to it from the very beginning and refused to join it.

"The participants at the meeting stated that absolute independence of existing Romany organisations is the only possible reality at present," Hrabanova said.

They agreed, however, that their organisations would cooperate and act together mainly in the implementation of the Decade of Romany Integration, the international project launched by the World Bank in eight central and east European countries. It mainly concentrates on the improvement of housing, health care, education and employment of Romanies.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Romany Parliament, the Association of Romanies from the Plzen region, west Bohemia, the Romany association of citizens of Lysa nad Labem, north Bohemia, the Romea organisation, Athinganoi and Dzeno, the Association of Romany Regional Representatives and the Association of Romanies in Moravia together with the central Bohemian regional coordinator.

The participants called on Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Nemec, the government commissioner for human rights and the government Council for Romany Issues to organise a national meeting of Romany organisations, advisers and activists.

The implementation of the Decade tasks and the inclusion of Romanies in the project should be the main topic of the meeting. The Romanies also want representatives of certain ministries and institutions to attend the meeting.


Maybe it is better so that all the individual Romani organizations in the Czech Republic continue to remain independent seeing the vast amount of corruption that always seems to go hand-in-hand, it would appear, with such "umbrella" organizations.