Media representation of Roma in Romania. Preliminary notes [Iuliu Kozák]

Media representation of Roma parallels the developments that push Roma to the margins of the society. Data from active watch and media monitoring show that Roma are negatively represented by the media, although neutral representation tend to increase (Presei 2006). There is a high social majority consensus on
how events, problems should be depicted and presented, and how to fit Roma in this presentation. However, regarding our special topic on evictions and housing, there is more ambivalence. On the one hand, there are representations that reproduce majority consensus, depicting Roma as villains, undeserving habitants of space, unfriendly and bothering neighbors. On the other hand, some, fewer of course, articles portray Roma showing more concern for them. In this article, I will sketch this ambivalence by concentrating on a single case: the eviction of Roma from Coastei street from Cluj-Napoca and their relocation to Pata Rat.

Media representation of Roma in Romania_kozak

Analysis of national and local NGOs in Italy and France [Giovanni Picker]

Opera Nomadi is Italy’s oldest and largest non-Romani organization working for Roma.
Founded in 1963 as a local NGO, it became a national NGO in 1965. In 1970 it became ‘moral entity’ (ente morale) having already 30 offices across Italy with more than 500 associates. It’s a non-confessional, non-political and non-profit organization. Since 1970 it’s the most widely consulted organization by policy makers dealing with Roma at the national and local level. […] The Romani federation is a national NGO funded in 2009 that clusters 18 local Italian Romani NGOs and a group of 12 people actively working with Roma, among whom Marcel Courthiade. […]  Founded in 2000 by a group of Roma from Kosovo and Macedonia who arrived in Florence between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s, Amalipé Romanò is not the only Roma NGO in Florence, but certainly the most famous and the most enduring. […] ARCI Florence is the local branch of ARCI, i.e. one of the largest, oldest and most active national NGOs. Florence is actually the biggest local branch in Italy and has over 50.000 associates. ARCI has always been traditionally affiliated to the left – Communist Party until 1989, then Social Democrats (and Communists too). Over the last 30 years the NGO has been at the foreground fighting for immigrants’ rights and against xenophobia and racism. That’s why in Florence it has been acting for Roma since their arrival in the 1980s. […] La voix de Roms … was founded in 2005, the NGO’s main goal is to stand up for themselves, due to the fact that it’s often the ‘others’ who talk about Roma. They talk about “Roma in France”, and in this sense they step back from the Republican ideology of citizenship that sustains and informs all policymaking processes in France, as well as the National Strategy for Roma inclusion. Even more than that, the NGO challenges the policy and lay assumption that talking about ‘Travellers’ (gens du voyage) is legitimate – because it does not imply any ethnic connotation – whereas talking about Roma is not legitimate – because it would lead to segmentation of the French society alongside ethnic lines. […]  Founded in 1997, the National Association for Catholic Travellers does not have a confessional agenda (all political and confessional activities are banned in the statute). Its three lines of actions are: Providing juridical support to [Travellers] families; Promoting access to rights and the fight against discrimination; Intervening vis-à-vis public powers and institutions. […] Association Rues et Cités was founded in 1972, the NGO has a long history of social work with local ‘Tsiganes’. However, its goal is not Roma-oriented, but more comprehensively includes the protection of childhood and the prevention of social marginality. They work primarily with professional educators. […] ECODROM 93 was founded in 2010 and now it includes two projects, the “Ferme Moultoux” and the “les murs à pêches (projet agricole et hôtel Gelem)”. Their aim is primarily to create an agricultural urban space and secondly, to include all inhabitants of the area, which is a highly ‘mixed’ area, in view of an exchange of knowledge among the users.


Analysis of Italian and French Local Policies – Florence and Montreuil [Giovanni Picker]

From the end of WWII to the early1970s both France and Italy did not really care, officially,
about the Roma. Only in France with the 1969 law – the first Besson Law, and in Italy with the Ministry of Interior’s circulars (M.I.A.C.E.L., 1973; 1983, and 1985) an explicit ‘voice’ of the government mentioned Roma. What is interesting, however, is that in both countries this ‘voice’ was not about the government’s efforts and commitments vis-à-vis social exclusion and marginality of Roma, but it was a call to city and regional councils to implement policies to allow nomads – ‘Gypsies’ (Italy) and ‘Travellers’ (France) – to halt in ad-hoc campsites or ‘equipped areas’.[…] this ‘localization’ of the issue lasted only until the mid-2000s. With the 2003 law in France (so-called Sarkozy law), which criminalizes the unauthorised occupation of public soil, and with the 2007 expulsion decree addressed to Romanian (Roma) by the Left-wing Prodi government, France and Italy shifted the ‘Roma issue’ from the local to a national level. This does not mean that localities stopped being on the frontline for ‘dealing with Roma’, but it only meant that from that point on, any local issue concerning Roma that the government could take political advantage of, could become a national one.

IT-FR_Local Policies