JOIN IN –PROJECT: STEERING COMMITEE MEETING
Budapest, Time: Monday 12.12.2005 Venue: AQUINCUM HOTEL, (Budapest, Árpád fejedelem útja 94.). Plenary session room (CONSILIUM)
Participants: Antero Heloma (Chairman) Jenny Nilsson (Integratiosverket) Miklos Barczi (Ministry of Youth,Family,Social Affaires and Equal Opportunities) Periklis Kosmidis (Union of Local Authorities of Kilkis) Ioannis Tassopoulos (Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity, Greece) Meija Tuominen (City of Vantaa) Tiina Kaila (Finnish League for Human Rights) Pekka Lampinen (Minstry of Education, Finland) Sinikka Keskinen (Ministry of Laboour, Finland) Panu Ahonen, Project co-ordinator
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING at 9 -15:30 Chairman Mr Antero Heloma 1. Opening of the meeting
Firstly a silent minute was held in memory of Dr. Raouf Ressaissi, the Swedish project partner representing the Swedish Integration Board, who died suddenly on the 22nd of November 2005. The project manager shared his memories of Raouf with the steering committee members present. The Swedish representative, Jenny Nilsson, informed the members that a trust has been created by Raouf’s family in order to honour his memory. The trust aims to continue Raouf’s work for integration, especially in relation to young people. Raouf’s relatives also encourage friends and colleagues to send their own personal memories of Raouf. For more information on the trust and memorial book email: email@example.com 2. Presentation of the participants Participants presented themselves.
3. First years` payment of balance Project coordinator Panu Ahonen informed participants about the details of payment request covering the second half of the year 2005. All documents including statement of eligible costs, list of invoices and final report should be sent to project coordinator by the 10th of January 2006. The final report (i.e. the report of the 1st year) should contain a description of activities of the entire first year and should have the same structure as the progress report (i.e. one transnational section followed by national parts to be filled in by the national coordinators). The external evaluation report written by Niklas Reuter, based on the interviews with coordinators and questionnaires completed in the autumn will be attached once it is ready by the end of Dec.
4. Second year of implementation Project´s leading partner State provincial office of Southern Finland received a grant agreement for second year of implementation from European Commission on 8th of December. Agreement has been signed and sent back to Commission. The overall budget for year II is 305 689,37€. Project funding is based on the activity plan for year 2006 which consists of both national and transnational activities (see annex I). Transnational seminars: Two transnational seminars will be organized during the year 2006. According to the original project plan, written during the preparatory phase, the first meeting will be organized on April in Rome by the project staff and Italian partner ISPES and the second in Athens in autumn. . A suggestion that the meeting accepted was to swap the subjects of the two meetings around, so that the final transnational seminar in Athens is on awareness-raising on equality, as that would fit better into the general project plan. The subject of the transnational seminar in Rome will hence be service provision. The idea is to present activities related to service provision and provide practical examples through e.g. a graphical presentation and have workshops on the topic Due to the absence of Italian representative steering committee made a decision on following procedure related to the seminar: 1) Italian partner´s willingness to organize seminar will be asked and confimed by the end of the December. 2) If Italians are not willing to organize the seminar, the secondary plan is to organize it in Hungary. Two possible dates for the seminar were proposed: 18-20.4 or 19-21.4. 2006. Project coordinator will find out weather these dates are acceptable for Italian partners by the end of the December. National preparatory seminars: According to the project plan, national preparatory seminars will be organized before the transnational seminar in every partner country. As a preparatory task project coordinator gave participants three articles approaching mainstreaming from different angles which should be read in national working groups before the seminar in April.
Project coordinator will send the list of questions linking the content of articles to the national development tasks early in the spring 2006. Evaluation workshops: As a part of the evaluation activities for year 2006, two evaluation workshops will be organized simultaneously with transnational meetings. Workshops are chaired by Mr Niklas Reuter (Efeko) who will also carry out online survey and phone interviews by the end of the year. Steering committee meetings: Three steering committee meetings will be organized during the second year: First in Rome during the transnational seminar, second in Helsinki in summer and third in Athens in autumn. Publication Mainstreaming in Theory and Practise: Due to the lack of the “handbook” on mainstreaming as a method for tackling discrimination and as an effort to disseminate the results of the project steering committee unanimously supported the idea of publishing a book as final product of the project. However, the extended budget for 2006 which would have covered the expenses of the publication was not accepted by the European Commission in autumn and thus the funding of the publication is still open. Despite the lack of funding steering committee made a resolution on following work plan related to publication: 1. Establishment of editorial board of the book: Steering committee agreed that the editorial board would consist of national coordinators and a few external members. Sinikka Keskinen from Finnish Ministry of Labour and Arthur Diakite from anti-discrimination bureau of Lund were proposed to be the external members. Editorial board will take care of the planning and writing of the publication. The content of the book will be divided to the theoretical part presenting the concept of mainstreaming and practical part introducing the country based models for promoting mainstreaming developed during the Join In – project. Intranet forum will be opened for changing the ideas about the book. The responsible editor of the publication will be project coordinator Mr Panu Ahonen. 2. Application for funding: An application for extra funding presenting the detailed expenses of the publication will be send to the European Commission on the behalf of the steering committee after the steering committee meeting.
coffee break at 10:30
Budget for second year: Steering committee went through the budget for second year and provisional budgets (see annexes II and III). . It was emphasised that it is not allowed to overspend or underspend the budget allowances (under each heading in the budget plan) by more than 10 %. There is thus flexibility within the heading but not between the headings. In case of more than 10 % overspenditure or underspenditure a letter must be sent to the commission. Due to the “unclear” status of the Spanish partner in
the project, steering committee proposed that Spanish partner will be asked to re-evaluate its role in the project and to re-estimate the costs of participation during the 2006. Depending on the answer by Spanish partner, steering committee considers the re-allocation of funding for Spain to other purposes such as translation costs etc. 2nd years reporting: According to new grant agreement reporting procedure for 2006 will be exactly the same than in 2005, that means two payment request: first in August and second when the activities are over. Evaluation plan for 2006: See annex IV Lunch break 12:30 5. Information measures
Info-sheet: National coordinators were asked to evaluate the number of copies of info-sheet needed in their country. Project coordinator will mail the copies during the January. The need for translation was also discussed. Newsletter: The aim of putting out two newsletters during the first year was not achieved. The main reason for this was the lack of concrete results to be published. However there was an interest among the steering committee members to put out newsletters during the second year when the modelling is more completed. Steering committee made a resolution on publishing first newsletter including information on transnational conference in Rome and contemporary anti-discrimination issues in partner countries during the spring 2006. Swedish, Hungarian and Greek partners will provide the national news related to anti-discrimination policy or initiatives. Website: The content of the Join In –website (www.join-in.info) will be updated during the January. The new version will focus on presenting the national strategies and project´s mainstreaming model. 6. Roundtable “Review of 2005 and 2006 national activities”
SWEDEN: Jenny Nilsson, representing the Swedish Integration Board, explained that the Join In project in Sweden focuses on ethnic discrimination on the labour market and aims to develop new forms of cooperation between the public sector and civil society. The goal is to involve civil society so as to give it possibility to participate, develop and make demands in the area of nondiscrimination. This is reflected also in the organisational structure, in which responsibility and resources are divided between the NGO the Centre against Racism and the public authority the Swedish Integration Board. As the project partners are aware of, the Join In project members lost an important and inspirational force when Dr. Raouf Ressaissi died in the autumn of 2005.
The main activities of the project in the year of 2005 have been national hearings, in which participants from the civil society and the public sector participated. The aim of the hearings was to gather ideas, strategies and models for counteracting ethnic discrimination on the labour market. The results and experiences of these hearings were presented at the transnational seminar in Stockholm, which the Swedish partners hosted. The recommendations of the hearings have been spread to different forums and activities incorporated in the partners’ ordinary work plan. Furthermore, the results have been gathered in a report in which the strategies, techniques and models for counteracting discrimination are presented in a ready-to-use format. The plan is to publish the Swedish report as a part of the transnational handbook on mainstreaming of non-discrimination, which can be used by actors in both the civil society and the public sector, nationally and internationally. The report, which was shown to the steering committee members, encompasses both the EU-wide anti-discrimination efforts and the national context, with existing hindrances as well as promoters for the struggle against discrimination. The main results of the Swedish efforts within the Join In project have been the initiation and enhancement of the cooperation between civil society and the public sector, in the area of non-discrimination and equality. A platform for exchange of experiences and suggestions has been created through the hearings and the establishment of expert groups. Furthermore, as previously noted, the recommendations and models constitute tools and sources of inspiration for future efforts. After having gathered recommendations from those affected by and engaged in the issue of discrimination, the subsequent step ought to be to try to implement a number of them in the national context. Hence the project partners in Sweden aim to adopt some of the suggested strategies from the first year of implementation, such as for example local mobilisation meetings for NGOs, media training for NGO activists, and education in international conventions and human rights. The activities will be undertaken after planning meetings with the expert groups. HUNGARY: The Hungarian representative Miklos Barczi explained that the main aim for the Hungarian project partners is to synchronise the national level with the EU level, with regards to Roma integration policies and Human Rights policies, focusing on the labour market. Through the perspective of equal rights, the aim is to disseminate information to the target group, i.e. the Roma population, in the South Danubian region. Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and Pan European Foundation for Disadvantaged Groups are the national partners of the Join In –project. 3 labour centres from the Danubian region are also partners in regional level. Main goals of the Hungarian Join In – project is to enforce the equal treatment in the service provision and to reduce the discrimination against the Roma population in public sector. Following activities took place during the year 2005: Workshop 15.4.2005: Goals and the concept of the Join In –project was
introduced to the national working group members. As a result Hungarian Join In -activities were geared to promote equal treatment in labour services in the Danubian region. SWOT –analyses for studying the attitudes of staff in labour centres was planned to carry out. Preparation work shop: SWOT – analyses on the level of discrimination and the situation of the Roma in the Danubian region was designed. Regional expert group meeting: Regional experts developed the ethnicalconflict test and the attitude-measuring test for local public official Testing the attitudes of 11 labour centre-training groups. Development of the attitude-change training programme for the labour centre officials. Training was carried out in autumn 2005.
FINLAND: Meija Tuominen from city of Vantaa presented Join In –activities in Vantaa. The project in Finland is carried out in 3 cities. Regarding the city of Vantaa, there is a coordinator hired for the purpose of the project on a 50 % basis and the activities are related to the implementation of the newly-adopted antidiscrimination law. The project activities have two strands, one referring to the implementation of the two laws regarding gender discrimination and the antidiscrimination act based on the transposition of the EU directives. The second strand of the project comprises an extensive training of staff. The newlyadopted legislation in Finland requires employers to implement integrated plans, based on the anti-discrimination act and thus the aim is to mainstream the laws by using what already exists. The city of Vantaa has chosen to implement the two laws (one referring to gender and the second to other grounds of discrimination) simultaneously, so as to create one integrated plan. The representative from Vantaa emphasised that the project has managed to create a model with good cooperation. There has been hearing afternoons with the city, police and employment centres and the extensive training of staff. The work for gender equality has involved employers and unions in order to formulate minimum requirements, treating staff and services separately. Finally, the equality plan has been sent to everyone involved in the project for consultation. Tiina Kaila from the Finish League of Human Rights explained the extensive training programme which has been designed by four NGOs in Finland. The training has targeted staff in the civil service sector, including health centres, at the municipal level. The joint training programme has entailed 40 training days (2 half-day trainings) involving approx. 20 people per event. The training has had a practical focus, including information on laws and practical exercise to identify attitudes, as well as a presentation of the issue of discrimination. The second part of the training has comprised a meeting with representatives from minority groups, such as the disabled, sexual and ethnic minorities such as the Roma, and included time for questions. It was noted that there are common points of reference between the Finish and Hungarian approach to discrimination in the project, with regards to training and focus on minority issues. However, Finland has emphasised the issue of multiple discrimination and the need for a horizontal approach.
GREECE Kilkis: The second partner from Greece, Periklis Kosmidis, representing the Union of Local Authorities in Kilkis, presented the activities conducted in the region. The project partners in Kilkis have focused on the disabled and expatriated people from the former Soviet Union. The activities, which mainly rely on the involvement of NGOs, have been targeted at information and training sessions. The aim is to involve different associations in decision-making, outlining a number of steps to follow in the work against discrimination. Information sessions have been arranged, in which parents of disabled children took an active part. It was noted that it is more difficult to involve expatriated people in the project. Athens: The representative from the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity in Athens, Ioannis Tassopoulos, explained that the focus of the Greek partners is on discrimination in the everyday life of Roma and refugees, mainly focusing on the health and social care sector. A plan of activities and an organisational unit has been set up in the national meetings. The main activity has been training seminars on awareness raising for civil servants. The project representatives have visited hospitals and the prefecture of Attica, in order to present the activities and approach of Join In and to discuss the issue of discrimination in the employment sector. Furthermore a radio message has been sent out in Athens communicating the value of equality. The project partners have also studied the issues concerning the Roma and refugees and have arranged a two-day seminar on the social situation of Roma in Greece, for the staff of municipalities and social care institutions. Within the Join In project in Greece, leaflets and a handbook for refugees with information on integration in society have been produced. The plan for 2006 include two training seminars, messages via the radio and the distribution of a booklet, containing the results of the project which will be distributed to the authorities. 7. Other issues Preparations for the next transnational seminar in Rome: Project Coordinator will send the questions related to the articles on mainstreaming in early spring. Questions should be discussed in national preparatory meetings. This is for helping national working groups to get better picture of the mainstreaming as a method for promoting equality and further developing the national models. 8. Closing of the meeting
Project leader Antero Heloma thanked participants and closed the meeting.
Panu Ahonen Jenny Nilsson