Roma people in the EU
The Roma are Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated 10 to 12 million Roma living in Europe, approximately 6 million are citizens or residents of the EU. Many EU Roma are still victims of prejudice and social exclusion, despite the discrimination ban across EU Member States.
The umbrella-term ‘Roma’ encompasses diverse groups, including Roma, Sinti, Kale, Romanichels, Boyash/Rudari, Ashkali, Egyptians, Yenish, Dom, Lom, Rom and Abdal, as well as Traveller populations (gens du voyage, Gypsies, Camminanti, etc.). EU policy documents and discussions commonly employ this terminology.
EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation
The previous framework focused primarily on socio-economic integration. On 7 October 2020, the Commission issued a reinforced and reformed EU Roma strategic framework, which sets out a comprehensive three-pillar approach. This approach complements the socio-economic inclusion of marginalised Roma with fostering equality and promoting participation. All Roma should have the the opportunity to realise their full potential and engage in political, social, economic and cultural life.
On 12 March 2021, the Council of the European Union adopted a recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation in all Member States.
The new strategic framework sets out three horizontal objectives, in addition to the four sectoral objectives of the previous framework.
It also sets EU headline targets, improves data collection, reporting and monitoring, and proposes a new portfolio of indicators. The 2020 Monitoring framework published by FRA sets out in detail the new objectives and indicators.. The differentiated approach among Member States will improve effectiveness of efforts and promote policy learning.
The EU Roma strategic framework gives a stronger focus to diversity among Roma, to ensure that national strategies meet the specific needs of different groups, such as Roma women, youth, children, EU mobile citizens, stateless, LGBTI, and older Roma, as well as those living with disabilities. It encourages an intersectional approach, bearing in mind how different aspects of identity can combine to exacerbate discrimination.
It gives a stronger focus to combining the mainstreaming of Roma inclusion across policy areas with targeted measures supporting effective equal access of Roma to rights and services.
Equal opportunities – Let’s make it a reality for all!
Find more about this new initiative through the presentations and discussions occasioned by the digital high-level conference launching the new EU Roma strategic framework.
Preparing the post-2020 initiative on Roma equality, inclusion and participation
The EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 ended in 2020, while a new policy initiative was being prepared, integrating the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commission undertook targeted consultation activities with key stakeholders to discuss forward-looking questions and gather input to feed reflections on the new initiative. The Staff Working Document accompanying the Communication on the EU Roma strategic framework provides a detailed overview of stakeholder consultations in Annex 1.
Evaluation of the EU Roma strategic framework
The Commission will carry out a mid-term and an ex-post evaluation of the EU Roma strategic framework.
Every two years, the Commission will issue periodic monitoring reports.
Member States will to report on implementation of national Roma strategic frameworks every two years from 2023 onwards, including measures to promote equality, inclusion and participation and making full use of the portfolio of indicators. The reporting will focus on implementation of the commitments set out in the national frameworks, including achievement of national targets, where appropriate. These reports should be made public, to increase transparency and promote policy learning.