The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe during its 41st Session, award the Greek municipality of Argostoli the Dosta! Prize for its initiatives promoting the integration of Roma and Travellers.
Also awarded were the municipalities of Torres Vedras in Portugal, and Salford in the United Kingdom.
John Warmisham (United Kingdom, Soc/G/PD), Congress Rapporteur on Roma and Travellers presented the initiatives of the Dosta! Prize winners.
The first place went to the Portuguese municipality of Torres Vedras, which developed a unique plan enhancing cohesion between local communities and Roma.
The second place was awarded to the Greek municipality of Argostoli for improving living conditions of the Roma community, increasing children’s school attendance, as well as providing housing and health care support to the Roma population on Kefalonia island.
The British Salford won the 3rd prize for implementing an educational exhibition titled “Young Roots Heritage Lottery Irish Traveller Wagon Project: Bringing Heritage Alive!” exploring the traditions, culture, heritage and identity of the Irish Travellers.
Congress President Leendert Verbeek congratulated the winners for their commitment to the inclusion of Roma and Traveller communities and stressed that the Congress fully subscribes to the positive messages of the Dosta! Campaign. Congress will continue the fight against prejudices and misconceptions about the Roma community and will continue to promote the unique contribution of Roma to European Cultural Heritage.
“Dosta” means "enough" in a variant of the Romani language spoken in the Balkans. It is also the title of an awareness-raising campaign of the Council of Europe which aimed to bring non-Roma people closer to Roma by breaking down the barriers of deep-rooted prejudices and stereotypes.
THE AWARD CEREMONY CAN BE VIEWED HERE
RESOURCE | ABOUT THE DOSTA PRIZE
Following the success of the previous editions (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017),the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, as part of its ongoing work to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in assisting with the inclusion and protecting the rights of Roma and Travellers, will once again partner with the Roma and Travellers Team under the Dosta! campaign.
The Dosta!-Congress Prize is awarded every two years to three municipalities from Council of Europe member states that have implemented innovative and creative initiatives to effectively ensure the long-term integration of the Roma and Traveller communities within their borders, while respecting the diversity of these communities and ensuring their active participation in democratic life.
Criteria for participation
Local authorities should be the main stakeholders of the initiative. Projects should be innovative in their field of action and be transferable as a model of good practice for implementation by municipalities elsewhere.
In addition, submitted projects or initiatives should fulfil at least two of the following criteria:
- Raise, directly or indirectly, public awareness on Roma and/or Travellers and their culture and history in order to combat stereotypes and prejudice (through the media, educational systems and institutions, and local authorities)
- Improve the effective access of Roma and/or Travellers to social and cultural rights (in particular through education)
- Promote intercultural and inter-ethnic dialogue
- Promote diversity in community life
- Promote active democratic participation