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The Council adopts recommendation to step up the economic and social integration of Roma communities [editar]



European Union Member States have committed today to implementing a set of recommendations, following the European Commission’s proposal, to boost the economic and social integration of Roma communities.

The Council Recommendation was adopted unanimously by ministers meeting in the Council. This set of recommendations is the first EU-level legal instrument for Roma inclusion and the Member States commit to taking targeted action to bridge the gaps between the Roma and the rest of the population.

The Council Recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States approved today gives specific guidance to support Member States in boosting their efforts. It reinforces the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies agreed by all Member States in 2011 (IP/11/789) by setting the conditions for an effective inclusion of Roma people in all Member States.

Even though the Recommendation is not legally binding, Member States are now expected to set tangible measures in order to make a difference for Roma people on the ground. The European Commission will continue to follow up on the implementation of EU Member States’ national Roma integration strategies under the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies (see country by country factsheets). Next round of progress reports will be done in spring 2014.

The recommendation as well indicates that in order to have tangible and sustainable results on the ground, budgetary allocations should be ensured from national and EU resources as of 2014. It is highlighted as well that the EU Structural Funds, in particular the European Social Fund, will remain an important financial tool to support Roma inclusion. In fact, it is emphasised that within the forthcoming financial period, the integration of marginalised communities, such as Roma, should be a specific investment priority. In line with this, a dedicated ex-ante conditionality was proposed to guarantee that EU support is part of a wide-ranging Roma inclusion strategy. In order to ensure the appropriate financial resources, Member States must allocate at least 20% of their European Social Fund allocation to social inclusion.

See below the press release of the European Roma Policy Coalition (ERPC).

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