Roma Empowerment: Lessons and Potentials

Call for application to attend a Research Seminar

Date: 29-30th May 2013

Venue: Corvinus University of Budapest

Young, motivated, and experienced Roma and non-Roma researchers, activists, and professionals are invited to a workshop to critically reflect upon existing forms of Roma participation and to explore effective practices of participatory policy formation, research, and empowerment.

In the last two decades a complex network of organizations emerged specialised in the “Roma issue”, comprising non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, expert bodies, foundations, activists, and politicians. These actors have managed to raise the attention of international organizations and national governments to the plight of Roma; however, the social status of Roma has not improved significantly, with a large proportion of them still living at the margins of society.

The event seeks to explore how to go beyond exerting external pressure on governments in order to overcome the historical marginalization of Roma and to facilitate their substantive participation and empowerment. In what ways could Roma participate in policies affecting their lives beyond taking part in limited forms of political consultations? What are the preconditions for the emergence of a strong and autonomous Roma civil society? How could large NGOs reach Roma communities at the ‘grassroots’? How to combine the struggle against racism, the promotion of democratic solidarity, and the reinforcement of an open Roma culture that allows for diverse and multiple identities? What lessons can be learnt from the experiences of Roma self-governments and ethnic political parties? How could universities, churches, companies, and media empower Roma?

Participants are invited to share before the workshop concrete cases of Roma empowerment. The cases will be discussed and elaborated with the help of senior participants at the workshop and will be published online afterwards.


Related events

The workshop is part of a three-day event Roma Participation, Empowerment, and Emancipation comprising a conference and another workshop on theoretical approaches to empowerment. The conference is open to a broader audience, whereas the limited number of participants of the two workshops are selected on the basis of two separate calls. The selected participants of the two workshops are encouraged to attend the conference and join each others’ workshops.

In the framework of the conference high level policy-makers, senior scholars, and prominent Roma activists and intellectuals engage a broader audience. Confirmed conference speakers include Laszlo Andor (EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Zeljko Jovanovic (Director of Open Society Foundations Roma Initiatives Office), Agnes Daroczi (Phralipe), and Thomas Acton (Professor Emeritus, University of Greenwich). See further information at

Confirmed workshop participants: Margaret Greenfields; Will Guy; Martin Kovats; Marton Rovid; Iulius Rostas; Marius Taba.

Supporting organizations: Corvinus University of Budapest, University of Bristol, European Academic Network for Romani Studies, Roma Education Fund, Open Society Foundations Roma Initiatives Office, Roma Research and Empowerment Network



The workshop aims to attract primarily young, motivated, and experienced Roma researchers, activists, and professionals who have firsthand experience with Roma-specific programs, bodies, initiatives. Participants should be willing to reflect critically on their own experiences, share it with other workshop participants, and develop case studies. The language of the workshop is English: participants are expected to have a good command of English.



The European Academic Network for Romani Studies covers the travel and accommodation costs of a limited number of Roma participants. In addition, a limited number of non- funded participants will be selected. Roma MA and PhD students and graduates up to five years after the completion may apply for funding. BA graduates may also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Participants will be selected on the basis of their experiences, their knowledge of English, and their statement on empowerment.



Candidates are required to fill in the online application form including a 300-word biographical note, a 1000-word statement on empowerment, and the submission of a CV. The online application form is available at

Deadline of application

Please submit application by 15 March 2013. Participants will be selected by 31 March 2013.

Organizers: Andrew Ryder; Crina Marina Morteanu; Iulius Rostas; Marius Taba; Marton Rovid


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