European Roma Institute to be established | Open Society Foundations, Council of Europe, George Soros, Thorbjørn Jagland, European Roma Institute
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European Roma Institute to be established | Open Society Foundations, Council of Europe, George Soros, Thorbjørn Jagland, European Roma InstituteGeorge Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations, and Thorbjørn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, anounced on March 26 that they have agreed on establishing a "European Roma Institute".

Writing on the "European Voice", Soros and Jagland declared that the Europe's first Roma intitute will be founded by the Open Society, Council of Europe and the Alliance for the European Roma Institute, a new organization bringing together already existing Romani groups from different countries including Germany and Romania.

In their article,titled "Why we are setting up a European Roma Institute", Soros and Jagland say, "For more than four decades Europe’s Roma community have wanted to establish an institution that would give their music, art and unique traditions their own stage. Across the continent, such bodies exist to celebrate an array of cultures, nationalities and identities. Yet, there is nothing of this kind for Roma. Many feel this absence, particularly among Romani campaigners, educators and intellectuals. It compounds a sense of exclusion and denies all of us the opportunity to celebrate the Roma influence on our shared cultural life. We are joining forces to help put this right."

The Institute will be a hub for events, educational and research activities, creating an exhange that may help overcome the stereotypes. It will also connect Europe's Roma communities and serve as a policy advisor to Council of Europe.