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Commission publishes mid-term review on progress made and challenges ahead in the implementation of the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies [editar]

The Commission´s assessment highlights the political relevance of the EU Framework but points out its limited impact on the situation of Roma; only visible progress seems to have been in the area of education


Commission publishes mid-term review on progress made and challenges ahead in the implementation of the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies

Following a wide consultation process to collect the input of National authorities, civil society and other stakeholders, the European Commission has published a Communication (COM(2017) 458) assessing progress made and challenges ahead in the implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.

The FSG shares much of the Commission´s analysis. We strongly believe it has been very positive to have a European Framework, even though its impact on the situation of Roma has been very limited so far. We think EU leadership has been crucial to keep the Roma issue on the political agenda of Member States. The Framework needs however to further advance the national, regional and local coordination and cooperation structures, grant more powers and extend the mandate of the National Roma Contact Points (NRCPs), step up investments and make budgetary provision for actions that support the objectives of the Strategies in order to improve, once and for all, the situation of Roma in the areas of education, employment, housing and health and to address explicitly and without delay, the discrimination and anti-gypsyism Roma people experience on a daily basis.

In this sense, it is necessary to advance in the implementation of existing legal instruments, and to accompany this with complementary measures. It is also essential to advance in the development and reform of mainstream policies in order to make them more inclusive of Roma. A better use of Structural and Investment Funds oriented towards strategic investments of scale and duration over time and in line with the NIRSs political priorities is also needed.


On 30 August 2017, the European Commission published a mid-term review of the European Framework for NRISs, which since 2011 has promoted the adoption and implementation of these strategies. The adoption of the European Framework in 2011 by the EC marked an unprecedented EU-level commitment to a comprehensive approach to Roma inclusion. Over the years, this commitment has been maintained and activated through various European legal, political and financial instruments, as set out in the Communication.

The Communication identifies the most important improvements prompted by the EU framework: the political commitment to addressing Roma inclusion as a priority at European and national levels; the creation of structures for cooperation and coordination among Roma inclusion stakeholders; the development, implementation and monitoring of national strategies and integration measures; the mobilization and alignment of legal, policy and financial instruments to fight discrimination and promote Roma inclusion. According to the Communication, the review confirms the added value of the framework, the relevance of EU Roma integration goals and the continued need for a combination of targeted and mainstream approaches.

However, in spite of some of the improvements mentioned, the Communication acknowledges that although the picture is slowly improving, there has not been a real change in the situation of Roma in the different European countries. Progress is mostly visible in the area of education; for example there has been a growing participation of Roma children in early education, there has also been a decline in early-schools leaving rates and in the risk of poverty amongst Roma, but these however remain alarmingly high. Also worrisome is the growing proportion of young Roma who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), a signal that translating results in education into employment still requires more effective efforts together with a determined fight against discrimination.

In its annual reports, the Commission has identified key priorities for Member States to address, including setting quantifiable targets, indicators and budget allocations, monitoring the impact of mainstream measures on Roma, cooperation with local authorities and civil society, and the involvement of Roma in all phases of the policy process. But although some Member States have implemented some of these measures, the impact of their measures on the situation of Roma access to education, employment, healthcare and housing remains limited.

In the case of Spain, the Communication highlights as very positive the significant progress made in reducing early school leaving rates, but finds particularly worrisome the alarmingly high NEET rates among young Roma (77%!).

The Communication identifies a series of priorities to be addressed by Member States:

  • Education: Promote effective equal access for Roma to quality inclusive mainstream education through legislation, inclusive reforms of public education, sustainable funding and explicit desegregation measures combined with inclusive teaching and learning methods.
  • Employment: Monitor and fight discrimination in the labour market. Develop a comprehensive package of mainstream and targeted measures addressing both the supply and the demand side of the labour market. Tackle the gender gap in employment by explicit measures targeting Roma women.
  • Health: Ensure minimum basic social security coverage as an urgent priority, including by solving civil documentation issues, and improve access to other quality healthcare services (providing free vaccination and medical check-ups for Roma children and their families).
  • Housing: Address spatial segregation with a complex integrated long-term approach. Prevent forced evictions on ethnic grounds and offer alternative housing to evicted families (including through ESIF investments) to avoid homelessness and greater exclusion, and
  • Ensure effective equal access for Roma to mainstream measures and quality services in education, employment, health and housing.
  • Strengthen anti-discrimination and anti-gypsyism measures. Fully transpose and enforce EU legislation on anti-discrimination and anti-racism and safeguards, involving the local and regional authorities, support the development and operation of effective and independent equality bodies, and fight antigypsyism by specific measures, addressed to majority society and stakeholders, to counter negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of the Roma community.
  • Target the specific needs of Roma in the context of public policy reforms.

In general terms, the Commission calls on Member States to ensure sustainable national funding of Roma integration measures, to measure and report their impact and to improve the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) as regards to social inclusion of Roma, up-scaling, extending and multiplying smaller-scale initiatives that have proved successful. In addition, and notwithstanding the impetus given by the establishment of National Roma Contact Points (NRCPs) in each Member State, as bodies responsible for the implementation of the NRISs, the Communication points out that Member States need to strengthen their human and financial resources and enhance their coordination role. The Communication also identifies as a priority to be addressed the empowerment of Roma youth and women as active players in the inclusion process.

Based on this assessment published, the Commission will define the post 2020 Roma integration strategy, as called for by EU Member States. The Commission has also launched an evaluation of the effectiveness, relevance and added value of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. All citizens, organisations, institutions and other stakeholders are welcome to express their views through the public consultation open until 25 October 2017.

For more information:

COM(2017) 458 final | Midterm review of the EU Framework for national Roma integration 

COM/2011/0173 final | EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies 

European Commission Press release  Midterm review of the Communication on Roma

Council's call for a post‑2020 European strategic approach to Roma inclusion