Communication on an EU framework for national Roma integration strategies up to 2020

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2011) 173
Publication Date 05/04/2011
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Many of the estimated 10-12 million Roma in Europe face prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in their daily lives. They are marginalised and live in very poor socio-economic conditions. This is not acceptable in the European Union at the beginning of the 21st century.

The EU's Europe 2020 strategy for a new growth path – smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – leaves no room for the persistent economic and social marginalisation of what constitutes Europe's largest minority. Determined action, in active dialogue with the Roma, is needed both at national and EU level. While primary responsibility for that action rests with public authorities, it remains a challenge given that the social and economic integration of Roma is a two-way process which requires a change of mindsets of the majority of the people as well as of members of the Roma communities.

A significant number of Roma living in the EU are legally residing third-country nationals. They share the same severe living conditions as many Roma holding EU citizenship, whilst facing also challenges of migrants coming from outside the EU. These challenges are addressed in the context of EU policies to stimulate integration of third-country nationals, while taking into account the needs of especially vulnerable groups.

In spite of some progress achieved both in the Member States and at EU level over the past years, little has changed in the day-to-day situation of most of the Roma. According to the Commission's Roma Task Force findings, strong and proportionate measures are still not yet in place to tackle the social and economic problems of a large part of the EU's Roma population.

To address this challenge, and since non-discrimination alone is not sufficient to combat the social exclusion of Roma, the Commission asks the EU institutions to endorse this EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. It is a means to complement and reinforce the EU's equality legislation and policies by addressing, at national, regional and local level, but also through dialogue with and participation of the Roma, the specific needs of Roma regarding equal access to employment, education, housing and healthcare.

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