Stakeholders at work on Roma integration include Member States, EU institutions, regional and local authorities, Roma communities, civil society, international organisations and academia.
A range of stakeholders participate in the European Union’s efforts to foster Roma integration, including Member States, EU institutions, regional and local authorities, Roma communities, civil society, international organisations and academia.
EU countries and EU institutions
EU countries are committed to ensuring that the Roma have the same access to fundamental rights as any other EU citizen. The role of the EU institutions is to provide a European structure (the EU framework, the European Semester) to support the work of the EU countries.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) supports the monitoring of the EU Framework, for example through the LERI project.
Roma empowerment comes through the active participation of the Roma themselves. Roma civil society has the key role of reflecting Roma concerns directly, and on disseminating information from European and national authorities to those at a local level.
To be effective, Roma integration measures require the involvement of civil society in their design, implementation and evaluation, both at national and local levels.
Regional and local levels
Regional and local authorities ensure on-the-ground implementation of national Roma integration strategies. The EU supports many projects stimulating exchanges between regional and local authorities, including the Eurocities Task Force; the MATRIX project; and the Roma-net project. The European Commission also follows work done by the Council of Europe (including the Alliance of Cities on Roma inclusion) and co-finances the ROMACT project and the ROMED programme.
The LERI project from the FRA multi-annual Roma programme brings together local authorities and residents, in particular Roma, to investigate how they can best be involved in Roma integration actions. In 22 localities the engagement of local stakeholders, including Roma, is facilitated to enable Roma inclusion in joint efforts.
International organisations like the Council of Europe, the United Nations (OHCHR, UNDP, UNICEF) and the World Bank do essential work, and the European Commission co-operates with them. The European Commission also draws on the research done during the Decade of Roma Inclusion.
Academics are key players too. The European Academic Network on Romani Studies teams up researchers with decision-makers, while also promoting and improving resources on Roma communities.