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National strategy for Roma integration

Greece’s strategy notes the need for greater co-operation with regional and local authorities, and for setting up a strong monitoring system.

Council of Europe estimates: approximately 265,000 Roma live in Greece (2.47% of the population).

National Roma Integration Strategy

Greece adopted a National Strategic Framework for Roma based on the "Integrated Action Plan for the Social integration of Greek Gypsies" implemented in 2001-2008. It addresses the key areas of education, employment, healthcare and housing. It also foresees a territorial approach with four main geographical regions where the largest number of the Roma population are concentrated, namely Eastern Macedonia – Thrace, Western Greece, Central Macedonia and Thessaly.

National contact point

Each Member State was invited to appoint a National Contact Point for the National Roma Integration Strategy, with the authority to co-ordinate its development and implementation. In Greece it is the National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA), Ministry of Employment, Social Insurance and Welfare of Greece.

Assessment of Greece’s strategy implementation

In Spring 2014, the Commission adopted its assessment on the progress made in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies in the four key areas of education, employment, healthcare and housing, as well as in the fight against discrimination and the use of funding.

Promising practices

Improving school attendance and access to healthcare

The ‘Education of Roma Children’ programme supervised by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the ‘Roma Children in Macedonia and Thrace’ programme supervised by the Aristotle University of Thessalonika includes many innovative approaches that may improve school attendance rates. A centre in Volos had first-rate results at getting children to attend school, among other things. Thanks to these centres, the Greek government has been able to have a record of the Roma communities, and issue official papers like identity cards and vaccination records for children.

Greece's socio-medical centres help the Roma get work, deal with health issues and find out about their social rights. The project 'Health for the Greek Roma' started in 2005 and continued until the end of 2013. It provided medical examinations, inoculations and psycho-social support services by visiting camps or mobile units of the Disease Prevention Centre.