The Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015 is an unprecedented political commitment by European governments to eliminate discrimination against Roma and close the unacceptable gaps between Roma and the rest of society. The Decade focuses on the priority areas of education, employment, health, and housing, and commits governments to take into account the other core issues of poverty, discrimination, and gender mainstreaming.
The Decade is an international initiative that brings together governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as Romani civil society.
The twelve countries currently taking part in the Decade are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain. Slovenia, the United States, Norway and Moldova have observer status.
The Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 operates according to Decade’s Terms of Reference. Principle operational elements of the Decade are: National Action Plans, policy coordination, exchange of experiences, revision and demonstration of progress, participation of Roma and provision of information and expert support.
The Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 is not another new institution, bureaucracy, or fund. Participating governments must reallocate resources to achieve results, also aligning their plans with funding instruments of multinational, international, and bilateral donors.
Building on the momentum of the 2003 conference, "Roma in an Expanding Europe: Challenges for the Future," we pledge that our governments will work toward eliminating discrimination and closing the unacceptable gaps between Roma and the rest of society, as identified in our Decade Action Plans.
We declare the years 2005–2015 to be the Decade of Roma Inclusion and we commit to support the full participation and involvement of national Roma communities in achieving the Decade’s objectives and to demonstrate progress by measuring outcomes and reviewing experiences in the implementation of the Decade’s Action Plans.
We invite other states to join our effort.
Sofia, Bulgaria, February 2, 2005
Declaration of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015