Kosovo: End of supervision

Western powers overseeing Kosovo have announced the end of their supervision of the Balkan nation, the last to be born out of the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Since its unilateral declaration of independence from Serbian in Febraury 2008, Kosovo had been overseen by a group made up of 23 EU countries, the US and Turkey. On September 10, 2012 Pieter Feith, the Dutch diplomat serving as both serving as the European Union Special Representative(EUSR) and as the International Civilian Representative in Kosovo, declared the end of international supervision. What does this mean to the ethnic minorities of Kosovo is too early to say.

In 2008, in the months following the declaration of independence, I carried out fieldwork in Kosovo, interviewing several Roma, Askhali and Egyptian Kosovans and wrote two concept papers (Integrating minorities in a post-conflict society and Towards the social inclusion of RAE in Kosovo) to inform the implementation of the Kosovo’s strategy for RAE integration (funded by the EC).  This article published recently in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2012, vol. 38, n.8) discusses some of the findings of the work and portraits the challanges that the supervision status was posing to ethnic minorities. Stemming from my time in Kosovo, I have also published an interview with two very active Roma leaders in Romani Politics in Contemporary Europe (Sigona & Trehan, 2009) and a number of posts on this blog (both texts and photos).

L’Union européenne et les Roms : pauvreté, haine anti-Tziganes et gouvernance de la mobilité

Lors d’une récente communication au Parlement et au Conseil européen, la Commission européenne (2011) est revenue sur la question des Roms, suite aux événements relatifs aux expulsions de Roms roumains par la France l’été dernier. Cette intervention était très attendue car la Commission avait jusque là évité de prendre position sur ce sujet, laissant l’initiative aux États membres. Cette réticence était d’autant plus marquée lorsque les Roms résidaient dans les États membres les plus riches. […]

Extract from: Sigona, N. (2011) “L’Union européenne et les Roms : pauvreté, haine anti-Tziganes et gouvernance de la mobilité”, Cultures & Conflits, 1/2011 (n° 81-82), p. 213-222. URL: www.cairn.info/revue-cultures-et-conflits-2011-1-page-213.htm.

Images and words

On Thursday 21 June at 7pm at Rivington Place (London), as part of the exhibition Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush, and to mark the Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, Autograph ABP presents ‘Images and words: communities telling their own stories’ a discussion between Eva Sajovic, photographer and Christine Eyene, art critic and curator.

Sajovic will introduce two participatory projects conceived in collaboration with Gypsy, Roma and Travellers: Be-Longing (Travellers’ stories, Travellers’ Lives), a project developed in 2009, and DreamMakers, an ongoing work with young Gypsy Roma Travellers.

This discussion will be followed by a response from Nando Sigona, social scientist and co-editor of ‘Romani politics in contemporary Europe: poverty, ethnic mobilisation and the neoliberal order’ (Palgrave, 2009). Sigona will introduce a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies coming out in September, entitled ‘The Roma in the New EU: Policies, Frames and Everyday Experiences’ guest edited by himself and Peter Vermeersch.

For more info and booking a place: http://www.rivingtonplace.org/Imagesandwords