Navigation path

National strategy for Roma integration

Hungary’s strategy is not aimed specifically at Roma but at all vulnerable groups. Its goal is the battle against poverty, which affects both Roma and non-Roma, but it also promotes the social inclusion of Roma through special programmes, including the fight against discrimination.

Council of Europe estimates: approximately 700,000 Roma live in Hungary (7.05% of the population).

National Roma Integration Strategy

Hungary’s National Roma Integration Strategy defines the roadmap for public policies aimed at the social inclusion of the Roma. It aims to gradually eliminate poverty and social exclusion by designing policies on child welfare, education, employment, healthcare and housing. The involvement of the Roma themselves is also seen as crucial, as well as raising general awareness and fighting discrimination.

The strategy relies on the co-operation of all stakeholders involved in the process of Roma inclusion, including NGOs, the media, academia, and the Roma themselves. It is aimed at all vulnerable groups, not just the Roma, and includes the elimination of segregation in schools and housing, creating jobs in rural areas, and giving special support to Roma women and children.

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.

Assessment of Hungary’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

Education: Obligatory pre-school from the age of three will be introduced in Hungary from the 2014-2015 school year. This mainstream measure is promising as regards education of Roma children for primary education, but sufficient capacities and quality staff are crucial for long-term results.

Employment: The mainstream programme of the Public Employment Service aimed at improving the employability of the disadvantaged targets various subgroups within the registered unemployed, with Roma prioritised as one target group. The programme provides a personalised combination of subsidies and services, such as labour market counselling, mentoring, vocational training and wage subsidies aiming at open labour market reintegration. According to external expert evaluation, the probability of employment increases by 40% after having followed this programme.

Health: Training for those working in basic healthcare services is being developed: in 2013, 250 health visitors took part in training courses, and some 4830 specialists are expected to be trained by them in the 1st half of 2014. Hungary aims to train 2 000 Roma women with the help of the European Social Fund and ease the acquisition of practical experience in social, child welfare and child protection services, and also as family support social workers, community developers, employment facilitators and healthcare mediators.

Housing: Cities are required to prepare a so-called Local Equal Opportunity (Desegregation) Plan as part of Integrated Urban Development Strategies. A Desegregation Plan identifies systemic interventions (relevant to the entire city) to stop or reduce segregation. Local Equal Opportunity Plans became a statutory requirement for local governments under the Equal Opportunity Act. ERDF funding supports integrated housing projects for Roma and other marginalised communities. In Hungary, to promote the social inclusion of those living in segregated environments, integrated programmes aimed at improving social, community, educational, healthcare, employment and housing conditions will be implemented using both ESF and ERDF resources. Alongside the establishment of community centres to provide hygienic and other services for the inhabitants, their housing needs will be targeted as well, including social housing.