(UK) – The Open Society Foundations (OSF) has announced that it will create a new foundation called the Roma Foundation for Europe, which will be dedicated to supporting Europe’s Roma communities.
OSF will pledge €100 million (approximately $107 million) for the new foundation’s work.
The Roma Foundation for Europe will operate independently of OSF and will be based in Brussels, with Zeljko Jovanovic, the director of OSF’s Roma Initiatives Office, leading the new foundation.
The Roma community is the largest ethnic minority in Europe, with an estimated 10 to 12 million Roma people living in the continent, including around 6 million in the European Union.
Europe to tackle discrimination and economic exclusion
Despite their significant numbers, many Roma people face discrimination, economic exclusion, high poverty rates, and low participation in the formal workforce.
The creation of the Roma Foundation for Europe reflects OSF’s commitment to addressing the challenges and barriers faced by the Roma community.
The foundation will make grants, support networking between organizations, and advocate for the rights and well-being of Roma people.
It will also focus on preparing Roma workers with skills relevant to the digital economy and the green transition.
OSF’s decision to establish this new foundation comes as part of its broader restructuring efforts, which include laying off 40% of its staff and shifting its priorities.
While OSF will not have representatives on the board of the Roma Foundation for Europe, the two organizations share a commitment to supporting Roma communities and advancing their rights and opportunities in Europe.