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New set of Commission policy documents on Roma inclusion

14/04/2010

Roma communities, the European Union’s largest ethnic minority, continue to face persistent discrimination and segregation.

In a policy Communication (COM(2010)133) adopted on 7 April 2010, the Commission outlines an ambitious mid-term programme to meet the biggest challenges for Roma inclusion, including:

  • Mobilising the Structural Funds, including the European Social Fund Choose translations of the previous link  – which together represent almost half of the EU's budget – to support Roma inclusion;
  • Taking Roma issues into account in all relevant policy areas at national and EU level, from employment to urban development and from public health to EU expansion;
  • Harnessing the potential of Roma communities to support inclusive growth as part of the Europe 2020 strategy.

A Commission Staff Working Document (Progress Report 2008-2010) - SEC(2010)400 -  also released by the Commission on 7th April 2010 evaluated the progress achieved in integration over the past two years. Although the situation of many of Europe's Roma people remains difficult, important progress has been made at EU and national levels. In the last two years, the EU and Member States have focused on making anti-discrimination laws and EU funding more effective in promoting Roma inclusion. This includes fighting discrimination, segregation and racist violence as well as supporting programmes to address the vicious circle of poverty, social marginalisation, low school achievement and poor housing and health.

For example, the Commission launched legal proceedings against 24 Member States to make sure that EU anti-discrimination law on the grounds of race is correctly transposed into national legislation. Out of these cases, 12 are still open while 12 were successfully concluded.

The Communication and progress report will be discussed at the second European Roma Summit   , which is organised with the Spanish EU Presidency. The event brings together high-level representatives of the EU institutions, Member States and civil society to review progress since the first summit in 2008.