The 1st European Congress of Gypsy Youth, organized by the Unión Romaní, took place in Barcelona, Spain, 6-9 November 1997, at the Palace of Exhibitions and Congresses. About 300 young Roma, between 16 and 30 years old, attended the event.
The program of the conference was complemented by presentations of the most significant accomplishments of the European Roma, also in the field of arts and culture, an exhibition of works of European Romani art, as well as performances of Gitano music, dance and song.
Youth from following countries was present at the event: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.
Among the dignitaries and policy makers, the following were present: HRH, the Prince of Spain; President of the European Council in Luxembourg; President of the Government of Catalonia; Minister of Social Affairs, Government of Spain; European Commissioner of Education, Training and Youth, Edith Cresson; President of the European Parliament; Mayor of Barcelona; Secretary General, Social Affairs, Government of Spain; Counselor of Welfare of the Government of Catalonia; Director General of Youth, Government of Spain.
The meeting was sponsored by the European Commission, and was supported by the Department of Welfare of the Generalitat, the autonomous Government of Catalonia. The organization of the Congress had been entrusted to the Unión Romaní and the Federation of Roma Associations of Catalonia (FAGiC).