A new victory for Bulgaria in the Roma scholarship case

A new victory for Bulgaria in the Roma scholarship case
A new victory for Bulgaria in the Roma scholarship case

Administrative Court – City of Sofia declared null and void the decision of the CPC in support of the project to support Roma only

30 euros per month only for Roma students, and that with success… over 3.50

With its decision of August 30, 2022, the Administrative Court of Sofia City (ACSG) declared null and void the decision of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination (CPR) that there is no discrimination in determining scholarships for Roma only. With this, the epic 6-year struggle of Tsveta Kirilova and “Azbukari Association” was crowned with a new success.

The protest is against the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), together with a private Roma fund, to award scholarships only to Roma. The project is of the Center for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (TSOIDUEM) at the Ministry of Education and Culture. “This puts all the other Bulgarians of non-Roma origin in the position of reverse discrimination”, alarmed the members of the public from “Azbukari Association”.

In an appeal to the court, lawyer Silvia Mincheva, who joins the struggle of Tsveta Kirilova and “Association Azbukari” free of charge, asks to declare null and void the decision of the CCD that there is no discrimination against all other Bulgarians in the case of Roma scholarships. And the court respects the complaint.

What is the background? In October 2016, parents from Dobrich protested every day in front of the municipality and on social networks against the decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture, together with a private Roma fund, to give scholarships of 30 euros per month only to Roma students, and that with success… over 3.50 . They send a letter of protest to all state institutions.

The 2016 project envisages giving out 1,200 scholarships worth 561,400 euros (or BGN 60 per month) to 700 Roma with a GPA above 3.50. In this way, Roma children would be stimulated not to leave the education system, the Ministry of Education justified its decision. Tsveta Kirilova is personally involved in the cause of the parents from Dobrich. “I did it not only as the chairman of the Alphabet Association, whose main focus is the interests of children. I took the cause as my own,” she emphasizes.

“Final victory for Bulgaria! – this was reported by Kirilova on January 14, 2020. – The court defined the Roma scholarships as discriminatory against all other Bulgarians.” Then, with a decision of January 13, 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) respected the decision of the ASSG, which in December 2018 defined the TSOIDUEM project as discriminatory – “Support of Roma students to successfully complete secondary education”.

The proceedings of the Supreme Administrative Court were initiated following an appeal against the decision of the CPC, which ruled that the project of TSOIDUEM was not discriminatory. The subsequent appeal of Tsveta Kirilova and “Azbukari Association” was respected by the ASSG, and the Supreme Court confirmed the decision with the reasons of the ASSG.

According to the instructions of the court on the interpretation and application of the law, the CCD is obliged to issue a new decision – that there is discrimination in the Roma scholarship project. However, the KZD and TSOIDUEM ignored the court’s instructions and on October 12, 2021 again issued the same decision – that there is no discrimination. Lawyer Silvia Mincheva again appealed this second decision of the CPD, and the ASSG again respected it on August 30, 2022.

“Until now, the decision has not been appealed by the CPD and I can’t imagine that they will have the audacity to do it again – lawyer Mincheva commented to Trud. – The behavior of the CPC is a rude, brazen, arrogant trampling of the Law and ignoring two judicial institutions. What gives them the courage to behave like this? The CCD was an independent institution, they say, and bear no responsibility.”

“There is no end to this battle,” Tsveta Kirilova told Trud. – Imagine how many years quietly working on such projects to the detriment of the children, while we are in court… To challenge the court’s decision, to find out after its pronouncement that you are brutally wrong, but nevertheless to persist in asserting your stupidity to higher authority – YOU. To receive a legal, moral, ethical and professional lesson, but to continue to brutally discriminate against the children of Bulgaria, by multiplying projects intended only for the Roma community, ignoring all other children – this is called extreme arrogance.”

“KZD did not learn its lesson in court,” Kirilova said. – Continued in an unacceptably unprofessional and illogical manner with his spite, rejecting the decisions of two courts. With its actions in this case, the KZD laughed at the Bulgarian children and continued to tolerate only the Roma community. After years of legal disputes, the members of the CCD returned the case to the starting point, considering that apparently the judicial panels of two Bulgarian courts had accumulated less professional competence than they themselves.

And this time, the ASSG teaches lessons on the basics of discrimination, and the members of the CPD, directly involved in the topic, will obviously already, after so many years of lost time, have to learn them. Because, while the cases are being heard in court, the projects to the detriment of the Bulgarian children are implemented and harm not only them, but also the taxpayers of the Republic of Bulgaria. May we forever close the page of injustice! And let’s hope that this lesson in justice and legality will finally be learned by the CPD.”

“So many years of nerves and inequality. The unprofessional decisions of the CPC constantly pathologize inequality. And the biggest audacity – to receive a resounding slap from YOU and to continue to ignore any court orders…
The wonderful thing from here on out is that such projects will no longer be implemented. But we will request information from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, whether a project similar to the parameters or the same has been implemented since the decision of the Supreme Court. If so, it is also null and void and therefore the funds distributed under the project are in violation of the decision,” said an outraged Tsveta Kirilova.

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: victory Bulgaria Roma scholarship case

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