Eurotalk vs poverty

21 Oct

Business as usual no longer an option” writes the latest European Union’ s draft document about its commitment to eradication poverty and achieve global progress.

I took a big breath – the end of poverty and “sustainable development” is in sightI was assured that this was no joke; the mighty Council of the European Union is dead serious about it. The highest-level body of the European Union is dealing with it.

To be fair I imagined immediately hordes of rich or well off bureaucrats and politicians getting off their limousines, eco-friendly cars or bikes with EU flags in their arms and going in the worst slums all over Europe and start doing stuff. It is true I thought mainly of them going conferencing in these places. Even that might help as the tones of pens and papers wasted could be of use for some of the children. The conferences’ food will also be a great help. But I decided: no joking. This is serious.

I expected the document to be about the reform of an inept system of funding that sees the majority of EU funds being wasted on everything else but eradicating poverty or changing the lives of the poorest of the poor. I hoped to read about the structural reforms within the European Commission (the bureaucracy supervised by the Council) that will address the huge lack of hands-on experience within as well as the institutional racism when it comes to the most excluded ethnic groups. I wanted to read about ways to address the Syrian and Iraq refugees mess for which we, Europeans, are in some ways responsible. I expected concrete actions, as “business as usual was no longer an option”.

The second paragraph made explicit what was all about: “the EU and its Member States stand ready to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders”.

Oooohhhh you stinky poverty and you tricky tricky development be aaafraaaaid. They stand reaaaady to engage in Diaaalogue ! They are sooo reaaadyyy for DIAAALOGUE that you can not believe it ! They will stand ready for it like they never ever stood before!

Poverty is almost gone as the only thing they have to do it is   “an ambitious and transformative Post-2015 agenda which is truly global and universal, with all countries playing their full part”.

For the untrained eye this is the exact thing they did 14 years ago. There is a major difference. This is not anymore European, is not just GLOBAL – this iiiissss TRULYYY UNIIIIVERSAAAL you bloody aliens, space-dust, black-holes, dark energy and whatever else is up there that affects poor people down here !

The new framework should aim to eradicate poverty in all its dimensions and to achieve sustainable development. It must steel our determination to end extreme poverty once and for all, building on and completing the unfinished business of the MDGs. It must also recognise that environmental sustainability is key to ensuring the sustainable prosperity and well-being of all people within planetary boundaries. The new framework must be people-centred and adopt a human rights-based approach in addressing the structural causes of poverty and inequality including violence, weak governance and the absence of the rule of law. Only by addressing these elements will the new framework be transformative.

They will kill poverty in ALL DIMENSIONS including the fifth one! Their determination is STEELED! Their recognition is PLANETARY and probably in 14 years INTER-PLANETARY! Their framework is TRANSFORMATIVE !

Everything is in the framework, the oceans, the air, the forests, RIO, reports, experts and people . But there is even more:

Migration and human mobility should also be fully recognised in the agenda as development enablers. The framework should also tackle other cross-cutting issues such as disaster risk reduction, resilience and culture, which should be mainstreamed throughout.

OOOOHHHH be AAAFRAAAIDDD they have development ENABLERS ! And they will CROSS- CUT ! They will MAINSTREAM … and not any MAINSTREAM but they will MAINSTREAM THROUGHOUT !

And at the end of the fight the EU will do the hardest thing of all it will  “remain committed to ensuring policy coherence for development”

Oooohhhh Mighty Lords of Eurotalk – they will REMAIN COMMITTED to ensure POLICY COHERENCE !

And to seal it all; to make poverty history :

“Member States will continue to develop and update common positions on all matters covered by the upcoming intergovernmental negotiations in a unified manner, and prepare the EU to play a full role in these negotiations.”

OOOOHHHH YEEEAAAHHH , OHHHHH BAAAABYYYYYY , OOOOHHHH YOU GREAT GREAT THINKERS this is it. You nailed it. You got it. You are prepared. We are virtually winners

Now please, please go enjoy yourselves !

We know we cannot shut down the doors of negotiation and sustainable dialogue while standing committed to more talks and we know we should suggest to design a multifaceted matrix for universal stakeholders blabla but , seriously  just go, enjoy yourselves !

We (those that pay taxes for your bloated salaries) just wasted a few hundred thousands Euros paying you to produce a document that is a perfect proof why there are so many people that vote with anti-European parties. Europe needs you to go have a break. If possible make it a permanent one.

Here the EU document :

With a view to the discussion at the joint WPIEI (Global)/CONUN/CODEV meeting on 14 October 2014 (agenda item 2), delegations will find attached draft Council conclusions as prepared by the three Co-Chairs.

ANNEX

The Overarching Post-2015 Agenda

- draft Council conclusions -

 The world has undergone enormous change in recent years and is facing numerous interrelated global challenges. Foremost are the eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development in all its three dimensions (environmental, social and economic). To address these challenges in a coordinated manner, we need an ambitious and transformative Post-2015 agenda which is truly global and universal, with all countries playing their full part.

  1. Achieving such an agenda is a key priority and the EU and its Member States stand ready to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in order to respond to these global challenges.
  1. The EU and its Member States remain strongly committed to the Millennium Declaration, to accelerating efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to ensuring that the post-2015 framework provides a comprehensive follow-up to Rio+20 to address the structural causes of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.
  1. The Council welcomes the range of inputs into the international process, including the Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the outcome document from the MDGs Special Event, the report from the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF). The Council also welcomes the many contributions from stakeholders which have also helped engage an increasing number of people across the world in the process.
  1. [The Council particularly welcomes the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report, which brings these inputs together and provides a solid basis for further work in the intergovernmental negotiations – to be elaborated as the draft becomes available].
  1. The Council recalls previous conclusions [1] and welcomes the Commission Communication “A Decent Life for All: From Vision to Collective Action” [2] as a key input to developing an EU position in the run-up to the summit in 2015.

Guiding principles

  1. The Council reaffirms the EU’s vision and priorities as set out in the June 2013 Council Conclusions, including the need to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced way, ensure consistency and synergies, and address inter-linkages between goals and targets.
  1. There need to be clear goals in addressing the fundamental global challenges. These goals should be ambitious, achievable, evidence-based, and action-oriented. While the Post-2015 agenda must reflect the complexity of sustainable development, a clear and concise framework is essential for ownership by all governments, stakeholders and civil society. Communicating with the public and gaining its wide support will also be crucial for success.
  1. The universality of the agenda is fundamental. The framework should be global in aspirations and coverage and universally applicable, while still being based on national ownership and taking into account different national circumstances. It should overcome traditional divides and recognise that all countries have common challenges and a common future.
  1. The Post-2015 framework should be guided by the principle of accountability, of which the fundamental requirements are transparency and effective review of progress. It should also significantly increase people’s ability to participate in policy choices affecting them and to hold governments and other actors accountable for progress.
  1. Business as usual is no longer an option, whether in terms of human dignity, equity, equality or sustainability. The new framework should aim to eradicate poverty in all its dimensions and to achieve sustainable development. It must steel our determination to end extreme poverty once and for all, building on and completing the unfinished business of the MDGs. It must also recognise that environmental sustainability is key to ensuring the sustainable prosperity and well-being of all people within planetary boundaries. The new framework must be people-centred and adopt a human rights-based approach in addressing the structural causes of poverty and inequality including violence, weak governance and the absence of the rule of law. Only by addressing these elements will the new framework be transformative.

Achieving a transformative agenda

  1. The EU considers that the framework should address the following challenges: poverty; inequality; food security and nutrition; sustainable agriculture; health; education; gender equality and women’s empowerment; water and sanitation; sustainable energy; inclusive and sustainable growth; full and productive employment and decent work for all; sustainable cities and human settlements; sustainable consumption and production; oceans and seas; biodiversity and forests, land degradation including desertification and drought; human rights, the rule of law, good governance and effective institutions; and peaceful societies. The new framework also needs to respond to climate change in a way that supports and complements the outcome of negotiations under the UNFCCC.
  1. Migration and human mobility should also be fully recognised in the agenda as development enablers. The framework should also tackle other cross-cutting issues such as disaster risk reduction, resilience and culture, which should be mainstreamed throughout.
  1. The Council welcomes the overall balance of the OWG report, which includes the key elements for a transformative agenda. The report makes significant progress in designing a transformative agenda. It is an important step towards establishing a single set of universal sustainable development goals.
  1. [Consider adding a paragraph on the UNSG Synthesis Report when available]
  1. The EU takes the following views on the progress so far:
  1. We particularly welcome the strong focus on a number of key areas including poverty eradication, inequality, inclusive growth, sustainable consumption and production, and gender equality, as well as the environmental dimensions of sustainability. We reiterate that the empowerment and rights of women and girls must be at the core of the

Post-2015 agenda.

  1. The EU and its Member States highlight in particular the need for further progress on peaceful societies and the rule of law. These areas need to be strengthened in the upcoming process as tackling them successfully is a key part of making the Post-2015 framework transformative. We need to ensure that people feel safe, that their human rights are respected, and that security and justice institutions are legitimate and efficient and act in accordance with the rule of law. We need to tackle issues of good governance effectively and address the drivers of violence
  1. Another important area for further work will be targets. The EU and its Member States welcome the overall orientation in the OWG proposal, but also note that the choice of targets will have to be balanced against the need for effective implementation, measurability and monitoring.

A new global partnership

  1. The challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development are both common – since they are of universal concern and relevance to all people – and global, since in an interdependent world many challenges call for collective action and global solutions. We need to develop an inclusive global partnership to mobilise action by all countries and stakeholders at all levels. This partnership must include the private sector, civil society, scientific and academic institutions, parliaments and local authorities. It is essential to have a more comprehensive, constructive and effective approach, enabling the implementation of the agenda through various means while taking into account the needs of the least developed countries.
  2. The EU recognises that universality will require commitment from all. In this context, the SDGs should inform the EU’s internal policies, including the forthcoming review of the EU 2020 Strategy and related policies. In all aspects of the means of implementation, the EU commits to playing its full part, but will also expect other development partners -including new and emerging actors- to contribute their fair share. We need to frame appropriate but ambitious commitments for all under the targets accompanied by well-designed indicators, taking account of national contexts, capacities and levels of development. It is important to develop a shared understanding in order to set national targets guided by the global level of ambition.
  1. We must ensure an environment conducive to the success of these policies. All countries should promote policy coherence and review their policies, as appropriate, in order to support the successful implementation of the framework. The EU remains committed to ensuring policy coherence for development. We note in particular the importance of trade, science, technology and innovation, knowledge and expertise sharing.
  1. In a changing global context, the financial needs of poverty eradication and sustainable development remain significant. We welcome the ICESDF report, which highlights the importance of mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources, international public finance, and private finance from domestic and international sources. We also welcome the important ongoing discussions in the OECD-DAC regarding the definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Preparations for the Financing for Development Conference in July 2015 and the September 2015 Summit should feed into each other and avoid a duplication of effort. [update reference as required]
  1. A solid and effective approach to the review, monitoring and accountability of the Post-2015 framework will be crucial in order to assess progress towards the achievement of goals and targets. The review process should be based on openness and transparency, including peer review approaches, benefit from the necessary support from the UN system, and involve civil society, stakeholders and the private sector. Existing mechanisms and processes should be used wherever possible to avoid duplication, while enhancing their coordination. The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) should play an important oversight role in the overall monitoring and accountability scheme.
  1. Robust measurable indicators will be essential for reporting and should be developed taking account of experience, best practice and expert knowledge. It will be crucial to strengthen the use of existing data and ensure that more and better data are collected, and to capitalise on new information technologies. In this regard the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for sustainable development could make a useful contribution. [Update if report is available] Disaggregation of data will be essential to ensure that no one is left behind. We must recognise the need to look beyond GDP to broader measures of progress, including social and natural capital, to address a more comprehensive idea of quality of life and well-being.
  1. The Council invites the Commission to develop a concrete way forward on the global partnership, including the various elements addressed above, to allow the EU and its Member States to play a constructive role in international discussions.

Next steps

  1. The EU and its Member States commit to playing an active and constructive role in all ongoing processes and support their convergence in order to achieve a single overarching post 2015 framework. For this purpose, the EU and its Member States will continue to develop and update common positions on all matters covered by the upcoming intergovernmental negotiations in a unified manner, and prepare the EU to play a full role in these negotiations.
  1. The EU and its Member States will continue to work constructively and inclusively with all partners and with stakeholders, including civil society, parliaments, scientific and academic institutions, local authorities, the private sector and social partners.
  1. The EU and its Member States, including EU Delegations in third countries, will continue to engage in regular dialogue and outreach on these issues. In particular, we will build on joint initiatives and declarations (for example the EU-ASEAN declaration), and work with regional partners, including under the ACP-EU declaration and Africa-EU Summit Declaration. The EU is committed to playing an active role in building the necessary consensus to establish and implement an ambitious and inclusive Post-2015 agenda.

[1]        Council conclusions on The Overarching Post 2015 Agenda of 25 June 2013 (doc. 11559/13) and Council Conclusions on Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015 of 12 December 2013 (doc. 17553/13).

[2]        Doc. 10412/14 + ADD 1 – COM(2014) 335 final.

Despre Gogu si vidanjari erotice

16 Oct

“S-au căcat rumânii ăștia pe tine, băi nepoate”

Sunt amărât tare, am aflat că am luat 1.50 la olimpiada de mate pe județ. Nu am fost ultimul, a mai fost și un 1.25. E drept, m-am dus la concurs cu febră după o noapte nedormită din cauza unei măsele. Oricum, nu mă amăgesc era clar că nu aș fi putut să trec de 6 nici în cea mai bună zi a mea.

Probabil lunea aia este cea mai neagră zi din viața mea. Am inima frântă, m-a părăsit zâna blondă: scorpia de mă-sa nu a mai lăsat-o să umble cu mine fiindcă sunt țigan. În plus, nea Gogu cam are dreptate și simt pentru prima dată că sunt prost și că poate nu o să pot să fiu nicicând îndeajuns de deștept/norocos ca să pot să îmi depășesc condiția de fiu de tată alcoolic și mamă cu handicap etnic.

Nea Gogu e deștept tare, cu multă energie și haios. Se pilește un pic cam des și s-a făcut de râs rău la Constanța. Îmbrăcat într-un costum care stătea pe el ca pe gard, cu o sticlă de coniac în mână a închiriat o trăsură , s-a urcat în ea împreună cu familionul și a urlat cât a putut pe tot timpul plimbării :”să chiiiinte muzica și să vinăă lăutauriiii !”. Lumea s-a uitat la el ca la un nebun, dar omul s-a simțit bine. E cam ratat și speră ca eu să pot face ceea ce nu a reușit el: să fie un domn.

Au trecut mai mult de 30 de ani de atunci. Deși am mai avut momente când am fost sau m-am simțit tâmpit, în ultimele zile mi se pare că sunt luat de cretin și că asist la un concurs de căcat în capul meu fără să am eu, sau măselele mele vreo vină.

Avem un președinte smintit de o blondă artificială care, dacă ar fi să mă iau după afișele electorale fie a ratat, fie își dorește o carieră de starletă porno. Nu numai președintele și blonda lui, dar toți candidații la preșidenție par experți într-un singur lucru: vidanjarea eroică (în cazul Elenei erotică) a societății. Desigur, vidanjarea se va face în țoale de lux pe iPad-uri și eventual din Merțane sau BMW-uri. Mai toți candidații par incapabili în a vedea că ei sunt fie plini (majoritatea), fie mânjiți de rahat.

Avem un prim-ministru care, deși e namilă, a reușit să se îngroape în mizerii cu o determinare care ar merita titlul de  ptontul Romaniei. Un tip care părea deștept și cu dorința de a reforma un sistem politic nemernic, încet , încet devine imaginea hidoasă a unei clase politice care pute.

Avem de ales un președinte dintre câțiva alți candidați dubioși care par cu excepția uneia singure să vadă presidenția ca singura lor salvare sigură de la închisoare pentru următorii ani. Carisma tuturor la un loc e cam aceași ca a unei lopeți. Credibilitatea lor e cam la nivelul lui Ion, un dependent de droguri care mi se jură pe mă-sa și pe copiii lui de 5 ani că se lasă. Mă-sa e moartă și nu are copii.

Majoritatea oamenilor politici cu forță din România sunt viitori pușcăriabili și o bună parte dintre ei sunt creațiile fostului premier care a făcut câțiva ani de pușcarie pentru corupție.Restul sunt șefi de servicii secrete.

Avem o presă care în majoritatea ei reușește să fie mai nemernică decât oferta electorală . Controlată de oameni care sunt în pușcarie sau care ar trebui să fie în pușcarie pentru mulți ani. Slujită de mâncători de rahat profesioniști.

Mi-am petrecut o bună perioadă de timp în ultimii ani în ghetouri. Credibilitatea clasei politice și a presei românești este cam aceași cu a șmecherului de ghetou care poate să îți facă rost de voturi, prostituate, droguri, lucruri furate la o fracțiune din prețul real.

Diferența este că politicianul șmecher poate să îți dea pe lângă ceea ce îți da șmecherul de ghetou și slujbă, casă, pământ, contracte banoase sau decorațiile pe care fie nu le meriți, fie nu le poți obține altcumva decât lingând cururile lor.

Din păcate sunt o mulțime de oameni deștepți și bine intenționați care legitimizează o clasă politică abjectă slugărind șmecheri politici și raționalizând că vor reuși să schimbe ceva. O bună parte sfârșesc și ei compromiși în poziții călduțe prin consilii de administrații sau prin parlamentul European. O parte devin gargaragii si vidanjorii care se pregătesc să se cace în capul meu.

Există un risc serios ca noi să fim o replică a lui Gogu; frustrați, ne pilim din când în când și ne dăm în stambă. Eventual urlăm “să chiiinteee muzica și să vinăăă lăutaurii!” la meeting-urile electorale bucuroși că ne distrăm un pic în timp ce se cacă ăștia pe noi. Și visăm ca într-o zi să fim noi în poziția să ne căcăm pe alții. Și pentru asta ne vindem voturile sau carierele unor nemernici care sunt câteodată chiar deștepți sau carismatici. Devenind și noi nemernici.

Gogu a murit un alcoolic violent și aproape nebun. A fost bogat pentru câțiva ani. A făcut și ceva pușcarie, incapabil să își controleze dorințele.

Nu vreau să fiu Gogu sau să trăiesc in țara lui . Nici Bășit nu vreau și nici Ptont. Nu vreau să fiu laș, să îmi bag picioarele și să plec eventual după ce scriu un text patetic. Și deși Monica Macovei nu are carismă, comunică prost tare, nu are șanse să câștige o să mă duc să votez cu ea. Nu de alta, dar poate adunăm îndeajuns de multe voturi încât să apară un alt partid.Unul care să poată să ne curățe un pic nu de alta, dar ar cam fi timpul să ne și spălăm de rahatul celor care ne conduc acum.

Euro-style – Roma conferencing and Emanuel Ungaro scarfs

13 Oct

The recent large Conference of the European Commission gathered on 2nd and 3rd of October over 400 people from 30 countries in Brussels to discuss the ROMACT program.

I am a supporter of the idea at the core of the program. The way it is implemented is another matter.

The discussion if such conferences are worth the enormous amounts of money spent is not the purpose here. It is true , based on my experience the cost of just one conference like this one can keep out of the streets of Bucharest 300 children for 5 years. Enough to make a difference between criminality/drug addiction and “successful social inclusion” (to use the mighty Eurotalk) for hundreds of people. Sure thing there will be some of those responsible for organizing the conference that can come up with amazing rationalizations of why the conference was a great achievement.

The speakers at the conference received scarfs and ties. Emanuel Ungaro scarfs. One of the most luxurious and most overpriced scarfs in the world. The conference was about some of the poorest people in Europe. Most of the Roma mediators present at the conference receive less per month than the average cost of an Ungaro scarf. Indeed, just a tiny fraction of them were speakers. Most of the speakers were, comparatively, rather rich –probably aware of the luxurious gift.

I was taken for a fool -many times.

By my relatives, by my colleagues, by people I loved or by people I met just briefly. Some of the children in the ghetto stole things from me or tried to get away with stealing. Many of them told me lies wishing to get something they did not deserve. Some of their parents tried the same. Drug addicts, business people, diplomats, celebrities, politicians all tried to take me for a fool at one moment or the other. Most of the times I ignored it and moved on.

I was a fool. Many times. I did things I ended up being ashamed of doing. Acknowledging them was never easy. It still remains hard as it goes against my instinct.

What happens nowadays in the case of Roma in Brussels is beyond being taken for a fool. It is an enormous waste of public money. The fact that it continues to happen without serious protests, penalties and reforms makes a fool of everybody that genuinely cares about social issues in Europe. It takes advantage of everybody that pays taxes in Europe. Makes also a mockery of what might be the best thing happened to Europe – the European Union.

Send those gifts back. You were taken for a fool.

TEDx, eu și piticii mei activiști

8 Oct

Mi-am pus țoalele cele bune. Am purtat pentru prima data cămașă cu butoni; butonii au venit la pachet deja montați pe minunăție . Habar nu am cum se pun, am băgat mâna fără să îi deschid si a mers. Am îmbrăcat costumul cel de înmormântare cum ar fi zis bunica .Nu l-am mai purtat până acum. E marca “TED nu mai știu ce ”clar chestie de predestinare. Pantofii de anu’ trecut e drept dar și ei sunt aproape noi, sigur ar fi primit validarea bunicii pentru evenimentul final.

TEDex

Înțolit așa am fost cât pe ce să îmi zic “sărut-mâna boierule” în oglindă. Acum, domn fiind, am avut o revelație că toată prezentarea mea de la TED nu se mai potrivea. Aveam pretenții , arătam ca un secretar la Comisia cea Barosană de le Bruxelles. Am șters toata prezentarea și am rescris . Primul slide :

“Sufletul activistului este pur ca lacrima pruncului scăldat în lumina soarelui răsărind la Sarmisegetuza, bunătatea lui e nemărginită și incomprehensibilă așa cum este și determinarea,verticalitatea și adevărul care mustesc eroic și indubitabil …”

Piticii din cap au început să huiduie și să îmi ceară să bag pantonimă și teatru dacă tot fac pe Dan Puric .

I-am liniștit cu greu, nu de alta dar nu mă pricep la pantonimă. Le-am propus piticilor să încep cu ce premii am câștigat. La țoalele mele să mă dau deștept cu premiile câștigate și să mă plâng cât de neînțeles sunt părea logic. Pitici au zis că nu merge, nu de alta dar m-au invitat oamenii la TEDx, mă publică din când în când până și Dilema Veche -pot să mă fac super înțeles numai să încerc.

Apoi m-am gândit să încep “glorious” spunând că filmul documentar care m-a obsedat din 2007 încoace a câștigat cel mai bun documentar sâmbătă seară la Zurich. Am câștigat the Golden Eye.

Tiganu’ a luat “ochiu dă haur” ca titlu mare cât ecranul de proiecție cu luminițe care se plimbă în jurul cuvintelor așa ca pe Broadway a fost o ideie care a făcut super fericiți o grămadă de pitici.

Titlul cu traducerea în țigănească pentru românii palizi și cu fițe de superioritate suna bine tare pentru pitici, fericire mare la mine in cap. Veto de la domnu’ bine ințolit .Nu merge că la TEDex vin oameni mișto și în plus titlul nici nu e adevărat; eu am fost mai mult cu ideile și încurajările. Premiul a fost posibil prin munca la o mulțime de oameni senzaționali a căror contribuție a fost mult peste a mea. Alex Nanau, Bianca, Catalin, Marcian, Florin, Mihaela, Ionela, Ralucile, Alex, Sabina …

Deschid o paranteză, am întrebat-o pe mama și da, am mâncat rahat când am fost mic deci se justifica norocul meu de a avea o grămadă de oameni buni, buni care mă ajută cu tot felul de idei țăcănite care le vin piticilor mei.

Apoi piticii au hotărât să fim transparenți și să povestim tot procesu’ audienței la TEDx. Așa am făcut. Le-am spus și de smântâna de la Chicago (vezi postarea urmatoare) și de Robinet.

După TEDx m-am dus și am cumpărat vitamine pentru puștoaica gravidă din ghetou. Am distribuit câteva din hainele de corporatiști ale prietenilor mei. Am fost în ghetou cu una dintre cele mai tari persoane pe care le știu. Îmbrăcat în țoalele de domn; nu am avut timp să mă schimb. Apoi cu puștiul meu și cu Toto am intălnit un alt domn mișto tare la o expoziție de gravură. Am terminat seara vorbind cu unul și asteptand încă câțiva dintre oameni senzationali. A fost super bine, rahatul mancat cand eram mic incă funcționează. Sper că a mers și pentru cei care m-au ascultat la TEDex Victoria.

Despre cârduri, smântână, SUA si doamna Europa

1 Oct

1996

Sunt în Chicago . Am venit în State să scap de sărăcie și în Chicago pentru Michael Air Jordan; MJ pentru pretenari. Dumnezeul baschetului pentru păcătoșii și păcătoasele care nu au auzit de el. Să fiți iertați !

Năuc tare, am 25 de ani și filozofic habar nu am ce vreau și ce caut. Până de foarte curând (câteva săptămâni) am fost sărac lipit dar asta conta prea puțin- stau în același oraș cu zeul Jordan. Suntem amândoi ciori, cârduri diferite e drept; al lui e mult mai bine văzut decât al meu în România.

Aici, în State, lucrurile nu sunt așa de clare, țiganii mi se pare că au un mic avantaj. Sunt perceput ca romantic, boem, spirit liber, cu talente multe și naturale incluzând cântatul și iubitul. În condițiile astea măcar când vine vorba de agățat avantajul e la cârdul meu și nu la cel al lui Jordan. Oricum și ai noștri și ai lui suntem încă departe de a fi percepuți că porumbei, vulturi, acvile sau cine știe ce alt păsăroi valoros cu care se identifică șmecherii fraților noștrii cu handicap de melanină. Indiferent de culoare, nație, cârd, MJ zboară cel mai frumos și mă face să visez că aș putea și eu. Cel mai aproape a fost că m-am visat lebădoi. Probabil visul e mai mult legat de povestile care circulă prin Viena decât MJ dar divaghez…

Sunt într-un magazin Safeway undeva pe Pulasky. E cam de fițe dar, deah, am dat cu nasu’ în niște bani și pretind și eu că sunt vulturoi azi. Sunt înțolit ielegant cu nește țoale de firmă bineînțeles cumpărate second hand de la Salvation Army. Am și nește pantofi fără șirete, roșiatici tot de acolo. Papionu’ îmi lipsește dar oricum mă simt domn de domn.

În față mea o cucoană care e și ea aproape la fel de bine îmbrăcată că mine. Se mișcă familiar și pare nervoasă. Suntem în raionul de lactate. Mă jur că în toată Craiova nu aveam atâtea produse câte sunt acolo. Se duce la o vânzătoare și o întreabă cu determinare :

- Smântână aveți ?

Vânzătoarea răspunde logic :

- Excuse me ?

- Smântână făi, smântână aveți ?

Americanca nesimțită răspunde la fel :

-Excuse me ?

-Ce ai făi, ce nu înțelegi, SMÂÂÂÂNTÂÂÂÂNĂĂĂĂĂĂĂ! Aveți SMÂNTÂNĂĂ ?

Instinctul de a servi și a fi politicos omoară creierul americancei care începe să scotocească în produse încercând să ghicească ce vrea clienta.

- Făi Smântânăăăăă, ăsta e iaurt nu e smântână. Smântână făi proasto nu lapte bătut; ce să fac eu cu laptele bătut ? Nu unt nebunoo ! SMÂÂÂÂNTÂÂÂÂNĂĂĂĂĂĂĂ făăăi offfff , smântânăăăă.

- Doamne da proști sunteți voi americanii , SMÂÂÂÂNTÂÂÂÂNĂĂĂĂĂĂĂ făi, SMÂNTÂNĂ ce dracului îmi dai tu mie aici !

Până la urmă, dupa vreo 10 minute, americanca găsește smântâna.

- Eee, ai văzut că se poate. Ce era așa greu, smântână.

- Sour Cream -smeainteaaanaaa, zice americanca transpirată si cu un zâmbet larg.

- Așa dragă, smântână, răspunde și doamna zâmbind superior.

Se duce țanțoșă la casa de marcat. Are față d’aia de “am făcut-o muci pe americanca asta proastă”.

Au trecut aproape 20 de ani. În ultimii ani am tot fost la conferințe și seminarii “ielegante”. De cele mai multe ori “dialogul” era cam de același fel ca cel din Chicago.

- Doamnă Europaa, făi doamnăăăăă. Aruncați banii pe fereastă cu trainingurile astea stupide care nu ajută pe nima !

Within the flexicurity framework we will mainstream the effective and sustainable implementation of the flagship initiatives of the EU 2020 including the Anti-Poverty Platform relevant for Roma…

Aruncăm banii aiurea, banii publici doamnăăăăă, îi aruncăm prostește pe hârtii pe care nu le citește nima !

The exhaustive logframe of the strategic approach towards the process involving a large array of multistakeholders…

Vrajealăăăăă doamnă Europa se duc banii pe discursuri și hoteluri luxoase iar în comunitățile de romi e prăpăd.

More effort will be put towards the transposition in reality of the Lisbon Agenda and the Commission will steer this process . The framework strategy for the social inclusion of Roma corroborated with the efforts of the Contact Points…

Nu ne înțelegem deloc făi doamnăăăăă Europoo ! Janes Romanes ?

We strive towards achieving comprehensive and multifuncțional matrixes of assessment and evaluation built-in…

SMÂÂÂÂNTÂÂÂÂNĂĂĂĂĂĂĂ făi Europooo, SMÂÂÂÂNTÂÂÂÂNĂĂĂĂĂĂĂ ce nu înțelegi !

About a major European Commission success, why winning sucks and how that might be changed

29 Sep

I am one of the producers of Toto and his Sisters. It was launched on September 24 at San Sebastian. The reviews are great. Trailer at the end of this posting.

Back in 2007 at the request of the European Commission (EC) a consultation between a number of Roma experts and senior EC management took place. That meeting made possible the production of this movie. I argued hard during and after the meeting that such a documentary will work. Some of the bureaucrats there forced me to improve my arguments by opposing the idea. At the end of the day the movie is a result of an idea proposed by a Roma implemented by Roma and non-Roma together. With Strada Film, one of the most accomplished production houses in Eastern Europe we decided to employ the Emmy winner director Alex Nanau to direct the movie. The Roma Initiative Office of the Open Society Institute helped when most needed as did European Roma Grassroots Organisation.

“Awareness raising” was the term used by the EC in the call for proposals for the grant.

Tens (might be hundreds) of millions of people will end up seeing or reading about the movie – “a harrowing but necessary glimpse into existences eked out among the grimy bottom rungs of the European Union’s social ladder” (The Hollywood Reporter).

Euronews ran a story about it a day after its official release. Six major film festivals in Europe will present the movie in the next 2 months. HBO bought it and will distribute the movie; the network has more than 114 million subscribers worldwide.

The movie attracted well over 10 times more private money than the seed money provided by the EU. The EC paid less for it than most of its 30 second to 1 min advertisements.

The practice we developed in the ghetto of Ferentari due to the same consultation ended up winning major international and national prizes. Recognition of our work lead me to be one of those that received the European Citizenship Award of the European Parliament in 2013. The organization I created -Policy Center for Roma and Minorities changed many lives of people in the ghetto. It is respected in the community and gained the trust of many people.

Toto and His Sisters is an endearing story about unprivileged kids who end up living the wrong life because they don’t find themselves in the right context. It also underlines an important issue – for Romania in particular, but also for other countries – that the education we get as children shapes who we become as adults.( official review- San Sebastian)

The local administration and the national government became very aware of our work and the issues in Ferentari. Hundreds of high- level officials all around Europe came to the ghetto and praised our work.

What emerges is a briskly informative portrait of Bucharest’s notorious Ferentari neighborhood, a zone which has evidently been overlooked by the relevant authorities for years, perhaps decades.(TV Muse)

The movie will force many to react.

We won, you, my reader might say.

Not really. This win sucks. It sucks because it is in fact an aberration. The overwhelming majority of the EU funds targeting Roma were/are wasted. Not on innovation and learning important lessons – we waste money in an awfully predictable way. Badly thought and designed trainings are repeated every year; same with conferences, reports, cultural events, fliers… To many political inept appointments in decision-making positions, conformism, lip-service and lack of spine among bureaucrats in governments, intergovernmental organisations as well as within civil society transformed a great cause into a mockery. Empty bombastic speeches replaced in a large percentage the much needed actions.

I quitted tired of begging[1] and adversities. Left the organization and found a job outside Roma field that makes me happy. I can afford doing more for the children in Ferentari now than before.

The way the European Union deals with Roma and social inclusion in general is a mess.

Change is not hard to come about[2].

The movie might inspire some. The EC and all the other bureaucracies (Council of Europe, European Parliament, OSCE, FRA, UN etc) could use it to raise awareness, pressure governments and justify changes in policies and approaches.

Millions of children live in similar ghettoes all around Europe.

The main character of the movie ,Totonel, has incredible courage and will to succeed against all odds. His drive is inspiring and could change minds and attitudes. Seeing some of those that matter copying Totonel might be the big win. Would feel anyway a lot better than this win feels now.

[1] http://valeriucnicolae.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/why-i-quit/

[2] http://wp.me/p2HVQZ-7Z

Between a rock and a hard place – the new Commission and the social inclusion of Roma

24 Sep

Social inclusion of Roma is a long term, complex, expensive and very difficult process. The new Commission cannot continue making the same mistakes as the previous one.

Useless and very expensive conferences, bombastic empty speeches, “copy-paste” “newspeak” type reports, trainings for the sake of spending available money and poorly thought projects focused on absorption of money rather than addressing the problems did nothing but delegitimized the European Commission and Member States efforts and weakened even further the already weak Roma civil society.

The new Commission has a good chance to do much better than the previous one. President Juncker is probably the most experienced politician when it comes to long-term plans (almost two decades as Prime Minister) and there are a number of pragmatic Commissioners with strong portfolios that might bring about the much waited for positive change.

What needs to happen:

a. Take some strong institutional measures capable of both increasing the pressure on the “Roma reluctant” bureaucrats within the Commission and National Governments. Here some suggestions

  1. Appoint within Juncker’s cabinet a strong Roma expert focused not on building a long-term career in the Commission but one capable for at least the next 5 years to push reform within the European Commission and Member States. A Roma Focal Point with a number of national Roma experts lead by a public well respected personality ( ex- president of Finland, ex- Human Rights Commissioner) under the direct supervision of President Juncker would be even better.

Such a measure needs to address the existing high incentives for self-congratulation, embellished reporting, avoidance of sensitive issues ( such as rampant anti-Gypsyism, corruption, abuses of children rights, trafficking, limited civic responsibility both within the majority population and Roma population when it comes to social inclusion) within the EC and Member States. Window dressing measures, institutional racism, abysmal results at the level of grassroots, poorly designed funding policies are all issues that need to be tackled if we want to rebuild legitimacy of the EC and Member States to address Roma issues.

  1. Reform the Roma Unit -its activity under the previous Commission has been an embarrassment.

There are some good and some exceptional experts within the European Commission and Roma Unit but their expertise has been rendered useless by the previous senior and middle management. The consultations with the Roma civil society were at best poorly thought and the transfer of expertise from the few Roma NGOs with strong activities at the grassroots to the Commission failed. Some very good steps taken during the mandate of Vladimir Spidla were ignored and need urgently to be revisited and build upon. Moving the Roma Unit under DG Regio ( the best initiatives up to this moment came from DG Regio) or the supervision of a strong and interested in Roma issues Director General might also be a solution. Bringing back in the European Commission dedicated, pragmatic and expert people such as ex-Deputy Director General Katarina Mathernova and ex–cabinet member of Spidla, Jan Jarab might also help.

The Roma Unit should be concerned about what the Commission can/should do and not as it was often the case in the past on passing the blame of failures on Member States, Roma civil society, local administrations or whoever else. The anti-discrimination Unit needs to get a grip and start acting seriously against anti-Gypsyism. Putting the same effort that it was wasted into justifying inaction and incompetence when it comes to racism against Roma will do.

  1. Appoint EC national Roma experts tasked to act as an interface between the governments and the European Commission. They should be working closely with the EC Representations in the countries and facilitate the dialogue between government, local administrations and those that have expertise working in Roma communities. The purpose of such appointments would be to put more pressure on the Member States to adopt policies, prepare and implement plans that will address the core of the problems and not the surface of Roma inclusion process.

There are a good number of people in the European Commission that have the needed expertise and might like to go back to their countries and do their best to steer and motivate the national governments and Roma civil society to work better and more efficiently together. There are also a good number of Roma experts at the national level that would very much welcome such a challenge.

b. Member States need to assume their responsibilities towards Roma social inclusion. Make them pay for secondments of the much-needed experts and ensure that these experts are empowered to come up with solutions and implement them.

The EC needs urgently people with hands-on expertise inside. The existing network of Contact Points is a joke and therefore the results are laughable. This can be changed by making Member States that complain about Roma issues and those that have a significant Roma population assume responsibilities and help finding the best solutions. Attracting people with best possible expertise is the first step forward. Creating an innovative fund administered by a council of experts and the EC focused on supporting long term pilot interventions at the grassroots is another thing that should be done.

c. Focus on grassroots. The nexus of all the problems is that the overwhelming part of the EU money ends up being spent on things that make no impact whatsoever in the most vulnerable and visible Roma communities.

We need to acknowledge that most of the money spent by the previous Commission and EU funds spent by Member States were wasted. Developing ways to stimulate efficient and sustainable grassroots interventions is where the focus needs to be.

None of this is revolutionary. Similar things have been done to address important issues such as gender and disability based discrimination. There was strong will to tackle seriously  gender and disability issues. That or a series of disastrous crisis will force change in the case of Roma too. A good deal of this choice stays with the new Commission and Member States.

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