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EU and Roma

Roma children © European Union/Reporters

The European institutions and every EU country have a joint responsibility to improve the lives of the EU’s Roma citizens.

The Roma people are Europe’s largest ethnic minority.  Of an estimated 10-12 million in the whole of Europe, some six million live in the EU, most of them EU citizens. Many Roma in the EU are victims of prejudice and social exclusion, despite the fact that EU countries have banned discrimination.

Who are the Roma?

Roma is the term commonly used in EU policy documents and discussions, although it encompasses diverse groups that include names like Roma, Gypsies, Travellers, Manouches, Ashkali, Sinti and Boyash.

A joint responsibility

The EU has long stressed the need for better Roma integration (see the 2010 Communication on the economic and social integration of the Roma in Europe), but more needs to be done. The European institutions and every EU country have a joint responsibility to change this.

In 2011, the European Commission adopted a Communication pushing for the development of national strategies for Roma integration detailing the concrete policies and measures to be taken (Communication on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies by 2020).

Each country produced a Roma strategy or a set of integrated policy measures that were assessed by the European Commission in a Communication adopted in 2012 (National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework). The European Council adopted a recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States on 9 December 2013.

The 2013 assessment report (Steps forward in implementing National Roma Integration Strategies) focused specifically on the structural preconditions needed in each country. These yearly reports (until 2020) use information provided by each country, NGOs, international organisations and the EU Fundamental Rights agency (FRA). The 2014 reportpdf(611 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  looks at overall progress in all key areas. The 2015 Communicationpdf(342 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  – focusing on the structural preconditions of successful implementation - identifies improvement on aligning (revised) National Roma Integration Strategies with EU funding instruments, but further efforts need to be made to fight discrimination and anti-Gypsyism and turn existing coordination structures into effective and inclusive cooperation mechanisms involving civil society and national, regional and local authorities with a clear focus on local level implementation and monitoring of results.

Within the framework of the Europe 2020 dialogue, the European Commission stresses that further efforts must be made to achieve Roma inclusion.

Please find here all the documents related to Roma people.

Our DreamDocumentary in five chapters shot in five countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

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