DEPART project will focus on the issue of integration of Roma and traveller citizens into the local communities which is still a crucial, difficult and important issue. During a series of events and workshops different aspects of integration from housing, education, social affairs, employment etc. will be analysed and good practices from partner organisations will be exchanged and transfered together with newest and broadest social research results. Working methods include presentations, discussions, excursions, good practice exchange as well as larger public and social events. Moreover the co-operation of municipalities as responsible local authorities with the local and regional civil society organisations will be put in the focus of the project since this appears to be one of the most crucial issues for successful integration. The project will be co-ordinated by the municipality of Graz (AT) which is the only certified Capital of Human Rights in whole Europe where integration of minorities has a top priority. Other partners are municipalities from HR, SI, SK, RO, IT, HU who are all deeply concerned by the common thematic focus.
The European Commission has asked all European members states to provide plans for the integration of Roma citizens and municipalities are the core element of these strategies. This network project will be a considerable contribution to this process on local and communal level. The direct involvement of representatives of the target groups - local authorities, civil society organisations, the Roma community itself, and citizens in general - into the discussions is also an important task of the project. Finally a network should be developed that consists of municipalities that are discussing, exchanging experience and good practices and mutually learn from each other at regular basis and related to different topics. All activities during the project duration and those planned for the future are well directly embedded in the local context.