Roma inclusion in Europe
The Roma community is Europe's largest minority, with an estimated 10-12 million people. Poverty and social exclusion affect many Roma people. Fundamental needs such as education, housing, healthcare and access to the labour market are far from being met.
These problems cannot be addressed without a proper intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma people (including policy-makers) because:
- social exclusion is rooted in prejudice and discrimination against Roma people, based on common stereotypes
- effective policies for Roma inclusion require a solid understanding of Roma culture, history & traditions, language, values and perceptions.
See our page on EU action for Roma inclusionfor details of:
More specifically, the EU is promoting intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma people through:
- the 10 basic principles for Roma inclusion, providing a common framework for Roma policies in EU countries. One principle, the "intercultural approach", focuses on building mutual understanding and promoting intercultural skills to combat stereotypes and prejudice.
- the planned creation of a network of experts on Roma culturein fields including anthropology, sociology, linguistics and history. The network could disseminate research-based understanding of the diversity of Roma cultures, encourage intercultural dialogue and ensure inclusion policies are based on a proper understanding of the cultural dimension.