EU and Roma RSS
For more than a thousand years, Roma people (including Travellers, Gypsies, Manouches, Ashkali, Sinti, etc.) have been an integral part of European civilisation. Today, with an estimated population of 10 to 12 million in Europe (approximately six million of whom live in the EU), Roma people are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe. Most Roma are EU citizens.
The Directive on Racial Equality prohibits discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. All EU countries have transposed the Directive into their own national laws. Yet many Roma are still victims of prejudice and deep-rooted social exclusion.
Who are the Roma?
As it is most commonly used in EU policy documents and discussions, the term "Roma" here refers to a variety of groups of people who describe themselves as Roma, Gypsies, Travellers, Manouches, Ashkali, Sinti and other titles. The use of the term Roma is in no way intended to downplay the great diversity within the many different Romani groups and related communities, nor is it intended to promote stereotypes.
There are approximately 10-12 million Roma in Europe (of which 6 million live in the EU). Many face prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in their daily lives. They are marginalised and live in very poor socio-economic conditions.
A joint responsibility
The European institutions and EU countries have a joint responsibility to improve the social inclusion and integration of Roma by using all the respective instruments and policies for which they are responsible.
In the past, the EU has repeatedly stressed the need for better integration of Roma, such as in its April 2010 Communication on the economic and social integration of the Roma in Europe .
Despite this, strong and proportionate measures are still not in place to tackle the deep-rooted problems facing a large proportion of the EU's Roma population. In order to step up a gear and ensure that national, regional and local integration policies focus on Roma in a clear and specific manner, on 5 April 2011 the Commission adopted a Communication on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies by 2020 .
In response to this EU Framework, the EU countries developed national Roma strategies . The European Commission assessed these strategies and published its conclusions in the communication "National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework ", adopted on 21 May 2012.
Ensuring the effective implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies is crucial. This is why the European Commission annually monitors the EU countries' efforts and follows-up progress made by them in the specific context of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. Moreover, the Commission supports the EU countries in addressing the Roma inclusion by the policy, legal and financial instruments to the full extent of its powers.
The 2013 Commission assessment report "Steps forward in implementing National Roma Integration Strategies" adopted on 26 June 2013 focuses on progress made by the EU countries in setting the necessary pre-conditions for a successful implementation of the strategies. These structural pre-conditions (working with local and regional authorities and civil society, allocating proportionate financial resources, monitoring and enabling policy adjustment, fighting discrimination convincingly and establishing national contact points for Roma integration) were already highlighted in the 2012 Commission's assessment report as indispensable to make a progress in 4 pillars – education, employment, health and housing.
The next assessment report is expected to be adopted in spring 2014. The assessment will be based on information provided by the various sources, including the input received from the EU countries, NGOs, international organizations, EU Fundamental Rights Agency and others. The Commission welcomes contributions by interested stakeholders, should they wish to do so, according to the template which reflects the structure of the 2014 assessment report. The contributions will be taken into account provided they are submitted by 18 November 2013, at latest.
Please find here all the documents related to Roma people .