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Alignment between EU Funds and National Roma Strategies are key for Roma Equality. [editar]

EURoma Managing Committee shares impressions on the new EC Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Participation 2020-2030 and the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and Roma inclusion

15/10/2020
FSG International

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On October 14 and 15 2020, the EURoma online Network Management Committee was held with the aim to share information and views among Network members on the new EC Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, and put together strategic ideas for programming EU Funds aligned with Roma Policy Priorities.

With over 70 participants, including NRCP, E Funds Managing Authorities and a large EC representation (DG EMPL, JUST, REGIO and NEAR)  and led by the Technical Secretariat, the meeting was structured in two blocks: 1) The use of ESI Funds of the 2014-2020 programming period to address the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on Roma population and 2) The New EU Roma Strategic Framework for Roma equality, inclusion and participation 2020-2030 and 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Roma inclusion (preparation of Programmes at national/regional level).

Nicolas Schmit Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights through video intervention, underlined: “Our investment must lead us where we want to go. We owe it to the Roma community.” Mr. Schmit’s opening remarks focused on how tools as ESF+ may lead to improve inclusion of Roma on the long and short term. Consequently, the European Commission proposes 25% of ESF+ Funds resources to be allocated for social inclusion in post 2020 ESF+ Furthermore, coming opportunities as Child Guarantee can improve housing, education, health, and nutrition for Roma children.

Currently, 1.5 billion euro have been invested for Roma support from ESF. As Angel Frontelo, Deputy General Director of ESF Managing Unit from Spain stated, “Every policy needs funding but funding needs good policies”, being next programming period the opportunity for all stakeholders to address significant measures for Roma people.

The main challenges shared by participants were how to address the dramatic impact of COVID 19 on Roma population due to the gap on access to sanitary and health services, the worsening socioeconomic conditions and the digital gap that affects significantly children education.

Practices such as Hungary’s system for data collection from mentors working in the field, or Portugal’s Intercultural municipal mediators collecting needs on the ground to be translated in programming, were shared.

As Andor Urmos from DG REGIO underlined, the data collection is crucial, as well as the coordination between NRCP and Managing Authorities. Data can provide evidence and highlight the specific need of Roma and vulnerable populations and ensure coherent and aligned funding planification.

To facilitate Member States duty to program EU Funds in aligment with their policy priorities reflected in their National Roma strategies (due by September 2021), the EURoma Technical Secretariat shared an initial draft of  EURoma´s Checklist for the Effective Inclusion of Roma interventions within EU Cohesion Funds programming 2021-2027a guiding document for departments responsible for programming EU Cohesion Funds in Member States and the EU.

The checklist aims to  facilitate effective programming of EU Funds to address the main challenges that Roma still face in order to  make significant impact on Roma equality, inclusion and non-discrimination. To that end is of utmost importance to prioritise medium- and long term programming, align EU investments with National strategies needs assessment and priorities and and key European instruments such as the Social Rights Pillar.

 Furthermore, with the simplification of funding procedures, the combination of EU Funds (i.e. ESF+ and ERDF) should be fostered through Member States, amplifying the positive impact for Roma population.

EURoma members and panellist also shared the importance of combining a targeted approach, that mentions Roma explicitly  but not exclusively, to address situations with a higher inequality or exclusion gap, together with a mainstream approach that includes Roma among general policies such as, for example, education, housing or rural and urban development

EURoma’s Checklist  provides guidance for both programming targeted  and  mainstreamed mesures and to  better align EU programming with policy priorities. The Checklist can be also disseminated toregional decision makers and particularly, those in charge of EU Funds,to foster more and better investments on Roma at regional level, in alignment at all levels.

The final version of the Checklist will be released soon.

The next Management Committee will be held in spring 2021.

 

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