Promotion of cultural development of the Roma community in the Republic of Slovenia and intercultural dialogue.
The legal basis for the statutory regulation of special rights of the Roma people is provided in Article 65 of the Constitution of the RS which stipulates that the status and special rights of the Roma Community living in Slovenia is regulated by the Roma Community Act adopted in 2007. Since 1993, the Ministry of Culture, as part of a special programme, supports cultural projects of the Roma community creators with funds available from the budget of the RS, which with the adoption of the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture in 2002 also acquired a legal foundation.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
With the implementation of the annual public procurement for the selection of cultural projects in the area of the Roma community in the RS, the goal is to co-finance the maximum number of applied cultural projects in the area of the Roma community. On the basis of Article 12 of the Roma Community Act, a special programme of the Roma community has to be prepared in cooperation with the Roma community. The Roma Community Council also cooperates with the Ministry of Culture on policy-making with regard to the Roma community and annual programmes. The priority criteria of the public procurement promote the creativity of children and young people, the inclusion of Roma artists in Roma cultural projects and the inclusion of the Roma community in cultural programmes and projects of local communities. On the basis of regular analyses and feedback from the managers of Roma community cultural projects, the conditions and criteria in public procurements improve every year.
Due to the observation of special circumstances in which members of the Roma community work in the area of culture, the special measures, in addition to financing, also include expert counselling which has been conducted on andragogical foundations for many years. The counselling involves the provision of information relating to the application to public procurements or calls, assistance with forming project proposals and suitable applications compliant with the requirements of the Ministry of Culture, monitoring the realisation of contracts, assistance in preparing important documentation (payment claims, partial and final reports etc.), counselling on the realisation of projects, organisations' operations, the acquisition of the status of a society acting in the public interest and the status of a self-employed professional etc.
In autumn 2008 the Republic of Slovenia became the first European Union Member State to start the campaign ‘Dosta! Go beyond prejudice, discover the Roma’, which is an awareness campaign within a joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The campaign is about raising awareness focused on the elimination of prejudice and stereotypes concerning the Roma. The Government Programme for assisting the Roma for the period 2010–2015 anticipates other individual activities in this field in the coming years, such as workshops targeted at raising awareness and eliminating prejudices and stereotypes concerning the Roma, or workshops on the fight against discrimination against the Roma, round tables, consultations, small awareness actions etc.
In addition, Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for National Minorities as the manager of the activities also provided for the education of civil servants in public administration and judicial authorities who in the course of their work meet members of the Roma community. 15 two-day training sessions (255 participants) were executed in 2011 within the programme ‘Training for recognition and managing stereotypes in multiethnic society’ for police officers, and two training sessions for students outside the police. Moreover, the Ministry of the Interior conducted three Roma language courses – two courses for the Dolenjska dialect and one for the Pomurje dialect (41 participants), and one course of Albanian (17 participants).
The activities of Roma associations were financed through tenders by the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for National Minorities in order to support the operation of Roma organisations and for local radio shows:
- In the field of maintaining and strengthening the identity of community members,
- In the field of mutual integration and cooperation between different parts of the community,
- In the field of raising awareness, combating discrimination and intolerance,
- In the field of information;
and the activities of local radio shows with the purpose of encouraging the preparation and broadcasting of Roma shows aimed at:
- Balanced range of topics concerning the Roma from different angles (from the point of view of the Roma, the majority of the population, national organisations, the state, local community, international community, expert public);
- Strengthening and preserving the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural identity of the Roma,
- Including the Roma in the preparation and presentation of the programmes,
- Influencing the majority of the population to show greater tolerance of the Roma and their values, and encouraging the Roma to respect the values of the majority population.