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Twinning activities for Roma integration

Twinnings are developed with local and regional authorities in order to lead concrete measures in Roma integration locally and encouraging the development of a EU wider network.

Roma in Samokhov

The municipality of Samokov has a population of 36,266 with 5,153 self-identified Roma. Local NGOs estimate the Roma population to be between 6,500 and 7,000.

Samokov is in the Sofia Province in the South West of Bulgaria, located in the mountains 55 kilometers from Sofia. In the Roma neighbourhood there is a ‘ghetto within a ghetto’ where between 800 and 1,000 of the most marginalised Roma live.

Main challenges

The challenges in this area are immense. They include

  • poor education
  • high unemployment
  • early marriages and pregnancies
  • families living in illegal housing in appalling conditions with limited access to public services

The municipality wants to use the for Roma, with Roma twinning partnership to find ways to further extend their work in education and healthcare for marginalised Roma, particularly for the young.