Objectives of the workshop
The mid-term evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies concluded that despite many limitations and taking into account the massive task involved, the EU Framework has shown positive results and an initial change in trends. While the Framework’s ambition of "putting an end to the exclusion of Roma" has not yet been achieved, the evaluation clearly demonstrated its EU added value, in particular by putting Roma inclusion on the EU and national agendas.
The EU Framework comes to an end in 2020. Civil society organisations, the Council, the European Parliament as well as participants of events organised by the Austrian and the Romanian EU Presidency have already called on the Commission to prepare and present a specific EU Roma policy initiative for post-2020.
The discussions in the 1 October workshop on future policies for Roma will therefore focus on forward-looking findings of the evaluation of the EU Framework as well as on options to address them in a potential post-2020 initiative.
A mid-term evaluation of the EU Framework was carried out in response to the Council Conclusions of 8 December 2016. It covers the 2011-2017 period and assesses the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, coordination, equity, sustainability and the EU added-value of the framework. The evaluation is based on an extensive desk review of secondary literature, reports and databases, 11 in-depth country studies, interviews with stakeholders in 16 other EU Member States, interviews at EU level and in three enlargement countries, an open public consultation, a survey among non-governmental organisations, 2016 survey data from the Fundamental Rights Agency (EU-MIDIS II) and a validation workshop.
The evaluation, inter alia, concluded that the four priority areas (employment, education, health and housing) continue to be key for Roma inclusion. However, a specific non-discrimination goal alongside the four Roma integration goals and a stronger focus on the fight against antigypsyism should complement the inclusion approach more forcefully.
The evaluation found, that the framework had a positive EU added value by putting Roma inclusion on the EU and national agendas, developing structures and increasing coherence between EU policy, legal and funding instruments that have been mobilised and aligned for Roma inclusion.
The evaluation noted that the framework provided flexibility to Member States to adapt their objectives to specific national contexts. While this allowed Member States to follow a tailored approach, the evaluation found that it contributed to fragmented implementation, reducing effectiveness, and limiting progress towards EU Roma integration goals.
The evaluation also concluded that the framework had limited capacity to deal with diversity within the Roma population. It did not pay sufficient attention to targeting specific groups among Roma (Roma women, youth, children as well as EU mobile Roma).
Finally, the evaluation found that governance mechanisms are in place at the EU and national level, but that their function is still limited. Civil society participation has been fostered, but Roma still have only limited opportunities to participate effectively in political life and in all stages of the policy process.
On 5 September 2019, to complete the picture, the Commission adopted its most recent report on national implementation of Roma inclusion measures. The main sources of the assessment are:
- reports from National Roma Contact Points (NRCPs);
- civil society reports from the Roma Civil Monitor EP Pilot project;
- data on the situation of Roma from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA);
- a meta-evaluation on Roma inclusion interventions (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, forthcoming 2019)
The Communication summarises the most important trends focusing on the four policy areas of the EU framework (education, employment, health, housing), as well as fighting discrimination and antigypsyism. In each area, the Communication highlights the situation of Roma, summarises the main types of inclusion measures, achievements and challenges of their implementation (as reported by NRCPs) and formulates policy learning in terms of promising approaches and priorities to be addressed.
Agenda and background papers
Background papers have been prepared to serve as basis for discussion throughout the day and include key questions that the workshop sessions will address.
Participants will include National Roma Contact Points, MEPs, civil society (active at the European, national and local level) as well as international organisations and staff from European Commission services.
Participation in the workshop is for invited and confirmed participants only.
Written comments to the background papers can be provided until the end of October 2019