The report highlights much more needs to be done when it comes to securing sufficient funding for Roma inclusion, putting monitoring mechanisms in place and fighting discrimination and segregation. Also, not all member states have addressed the important issues of access to decent housing and healthcare in their national plans.
"Presenting national strategies is a first and important step," said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Commission’s Vice-President. "However, member states now need to move up a gear and strengthen their efforts with more concrete measures, explicit targets, earmarked funding and sound monitoring and evaluation. We need more than strategies that exist on paper. We need tangible results in national politics that improve the lives of Europe's Roma."
The report also includes Commission policy recommendations and provides specific feedback on each national strategy, highlighting key elements and identifying the main gaps.
The Commission will regularly assess the steps taken by member states as a follow-up to today's report and will publish annual progress reports on measures taken at national level within the EU framework.
Member states developed national plans for Roma integration in response to the Commission's EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies adopted on 5 April 2011 (see press release and FAQs) which was endorsed by EU leaders soon afterwards.
The EU Framework for national Roma strategies set out four key areas which member states were asked to address: access to education, jobs, healthcare and housing.
In June last year, the heads of state and government of all 27 EU member states for the first time committed to addressing these four policy areas. One year on they have now delivered national strategies to do just that. This shows the strong political will to tackle the challenges of Roma integration.
A report released by the Fundamental Rights Agency today shows that about 45% of the Roma surveyed live in households lacking an indoor kitchen, toilet, shower or bath, or electricity. The report also reveals that one in three Roma is unemployed, 20% are not covered by health insurance, and 90% are living below the poverty line.