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Commission calls on EU countries to set national strategies for Roma integration

[European Commission, Brussels, 12 April 2011] The European Commission is putting forward a European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, which will help guide national Roma policies and mobilise funds available at EU level to support inclusion efforts.

The EU Framework develops a targeted approach for Roma inclusion by setting goals in:

  • Education: ensuring that all Roma children complete primary school
  • Employment: cutting the employment gap between Roma and other citizens
  • Health: reducing the health gap, for example by cutting child mortality among Roma
  • Housing: closing the gap in access to housing and public utilities such as water and electricity
    EU governments will have to submit national Roma strategies by the end of 2011 specifying how they will contribute to the achievement of these goals. The Framework is in line with the EU’s broader Europe 2020 targets for employment, social inclusion and education.

The Commission is also proposing solutions to make sure that EU funds that can support Roma integration are more effectively used. EU countries are invited to amend their operational programmes co-financed by structural funds and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to better support Roma targeted projects.

Finally, the Commission wants to put a robust monitoring mechanism in place to measure results. The EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency has a key role to play, by collecting data on the social and economic situation of Roma, in cooperation with other organisations. EU countries are asked to appoint national contact points to manage, monitor and report the implementation of their national Roma integration strategy. The Commission will report back annually on the progress made in the EU countries.

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