With this initiative, for the first time, the Ministry of Culture promotes recognition of Roma culture and the contribution it has made to the cultural heritage of all Spanish people.
On 31 May, the constitutive meeting of the Board of the Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana (Roma Cultural Institute Foundation) was held at the Ministry of Culture headquarters and was chaired by the Minister.
This national public sector entity, the creation of which was authorised by the Council of Ministers on 9 March this year, has the following aims:
The Foundation, which is linked to the Ministry of Culture, also includes participation from the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs, Public Administrations, Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Education and Science; and from the Autonomous Regions that choose to form part of the Foundation, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces ( FEMP) and the Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano (The State Council of the Roma People), which is represented by its second vice-chairman.
Also forming part of the Foundation, as patrons elect, are three representatives chosen from among civil society entities and groups working in the cultural sphere and from among qualified professionals who are renowned for their knowledge of and experience in Roma matters.
At its constitutive meeting, the Board of the Foundation agreed to the appointment of Mr Diego Fernández Jiménez as Director of the Roma Cultural Institute.
Agreements were also adopted in respect of the appointment of Mr Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia- patron elect - as Vice-chairman of the Board, the designation of a Delegate Board Committee composed of five members and the approval of an action plan for the Foundation for 2007.
Through the constitution of the Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana, the Spanish Government is implementing the motion unanimously approved by Parliament on 27 September 2005, urging the Government to promote the culture, history, identity and language of the Roma people.
The Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana is the first national public sector entity, within the sphere of culture, which has been formed in order to acknowledge and enhance the status of the contribution made by Roma culture to Spain's cultural makeup.
The headquarters of the Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana will be in Madrid.