The European Union and Roma
Of the estimated 10 – 12 million Roma living in Europe, more than half are citizens of the European Union (EU). EU Institutions have put in place a wide range of legal, policy and financial instruments to support Roma Integration in EU Member States and enlargement countries, thus repeatedly stressing the need for full integration.
Inspired by the Decade of Roma Inclusion, on 5 April 2011, the European Commission adopted the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. The Framework calls on Member States to prepare or revise National Roma Integration Strategies that would effectively address the challenges of Roma inclusion in four priority areas of education, employment, housing and health. The Framework is intended to ensure either that States develop Roma specific strategies, or that regional, national and local integration policies focus on Roma in a clear and consistent manner. The Framework is open to enlargement countries as well as EU Member States.
The European Commission assessed the strategies and published its conclusions in the communication National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework in May 2012. A year later, the European Commission adopted the communication Steps forward in implementing the National Roma Integration Strategies focusing on structural pre-conditions that are necessary to achieve effective changes for Roma in EU Member States.
Each Member State established a National Contact Point that should have the authority and capacity to coordinate the development, implementation, and monitoring of the National Roma Integration Strategy. The National Contact Points form a network and regularly meet in Brussels.
The European Platform for Roma Inclusion brings together national governments, the EU, international organizations, and Roma civil society representatives. It aims at stimulating cooperation and exchanges of experience along all stakeholders on successful Roma inclusion and integration policies and practices.
All the relevant documents of the EU are available on the EU and Roma page.