Winners of the 2021 EU Award for Roma Integration

The EU announced the winners of the 2021 EU Award for Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey and ECCAR is proud and happy to announce that its member city Konak won the Award!

Congratulations to Konak Municipality!

Konak has been very motivated regarding this important topic and already launched an ECCAR working group on Antigypsyism. The ECCAR office and Konak are in tight contact regarding this working group which will be starting its work shortly!

The European Commission announced the 14 winners of the fourth EU Award for Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The 2021 award recognises Extraordinary People Promoting Equality through Employment. The award ceremony took place in the framework of the 5th EU Roma Week (27 – 30 September 2021).

Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said: “Congratulations to all the winners for your contribution to such an important issue! You took courageous initiatives overcoming prejudices to promote Roma employment. With your diverse actions and your successful results, you show that progress on Roma employment is possible. I hope this Award will help expand your initiatives as role models for increasing Roma employment and for making our societies more equal and fair.”

Launched in 2014, the EU Award for Roma integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey aims to highlight the importance of Roma integration in the EU Enlargement process and to show the EU's determination and commitment to improving the social inclusion of Roma people. With the Award, the EU recognises all efforts to empower Roma to reach their full potential as full members of the societies where they live and work. The prize will help fund future projects and opportunities benefitting Roma.

Of the estimated 10-12 million Roma living in Europe, about 1 million live in the Western Balkans and 2.8 million in Turkey. The full integration and inclusion of Roma people is a key priority for the EU and starts with employment. Roma integration is one of the conditions enlargement partners have to fulfil to become an EU Member State.