About Us


2/11/20242 min read

The journey towards Roma recognition and representation has been punctuated by significant milestones, yet marred by challenges in sustaining a unified and effective voice. Historical entities like the International Romani Union (IRU) and the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) demonstrated noble intentions but grappled with issues such as inadequate democratic governance and external influences. The World Roma Federation (WRF)’s 2017 congress in Budapest marked a crucial convergence of Roma leaders and activists, initiating profound discussions on Roma inclusion and political participation. Post-2020, the WRF has emphasized unity within Roma communities and subgroups, advocating for political participation and broader representation at the United Nations, utilizing its special consultative status to engage in significant diplomatic dialogues.

Current Situation Analysis:

The present scenario of Roma representation in key European institutions is complex and challenging. The limited influence of Roma individuals within major entities such as the EU, Council of Europe, and European Commission, coupled with a predominantly advisory role of civil society, underscores a need for reevaluation. The dominance of non-Roma-led umbrella organizations in critical decision-making forums further exacerbates the misalignment of strategies with the Roma community’s needs, highlighting the necessity for structures and approaches that genuinely reflect and respond to these needs.

Problem Statement:

The core issues in Roma advocacy and representation include the near-absence of Roma voices in key decision-making bodies and the termination of entities like the ERTF, leading to a significant gap in authentic Roma representation. The prevalence of non-Roma-led organizations and foundations, often lacking democratic Roma input, complicates effective advocacy, resulting in a scenario where Roma voices are marginalized in initiatives intended for their support.


The Global Romani Coalition aspires to overcome the shortcomings of past organizations like the IRU and ERTF. By fostering a unified, representative body, the Coalition seeks to enhance past efforts and correct previous failures. Focused on establishing real democratic governance and diminishing non-Roma influence in decision-making, it aims to cultivate a more inclusive and effective platform. Guided by the experience and contributions of a knowledgeable and skilled elected steering committee, the Coalition is committed to developing a strategic plan addressing Roma community issues, facilitated by input from member organizations, community leaders, and activists. An interim steering committee will oversee the Coalition’s development, later expanding to include members with the necessary skills, education, and experience to advance the Coalition's work.

Furthermore, the WRF’s role as a bridge between the United Nations and the Coalition is pivotal. It not only facilitates immediate influence and representation but also aims for the Coalition to obtain observer status in the long term. The WRF’s engagement with the High-Level Political Forum in 2024 as a special stakeholder is a unique opportunity to bring the Coalition and its members into influential dialogues, ensuring substantial inclusion and representation of Roma issues at a high policy-making level, and catalyzing significant advancements for the Roma community worldwide.