"It's the end of an era for Europe and NGOs in Europe," the director of the European Roma Rights Center tells EUobserver after the Open Society Foundations announced last week it was pulling out of the region.
The billionaire philanthropist's foundation, which has given millions to many progressive causes in Europe, says it will no longer fund EU-wide projects but will instead focus on "specific opportunities for impact" in countries around the world, the Guardian reports.
In a statement, the foundation says it will continue to fund groups in Europe "including those working on EU external affairs, and maintain its historic support for European Roma communities."
But the European Roma Rights Center's Jovanovi says the decision to pull out of Europe is like "a company abruptly letting go of a longtime staffer with the encouragement that they'll easily find a new job."
"Because that's what they basically say; we are pulling out from Europe because the European Union is giving exactly the same funding which we do," he says.
"It is this very American approachbasically, you are fired."
In a statement, the foundation says it will "continue to fund civil society groups across Europe, including those working on EU external affairs, and maintain its historic support for European Roma communities
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