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EURoma Network analyzes the new European Strategic Framework for Roma equality and European Funds' opportunities for Roma inclusion [editar]

EURoma Network members, coordinated by Fundación Secretariado Gitano as Technical Secretariat, share strategies to address COVID19 impact on Roma communities and analyse mid and long-term opportunities for Roma equality through national policies funded with European Cohesion Funds.

FSG International

EURoma Network analyzes the new European Strategic Framework for Roma equality and European Funds' opportunities for Roma inclusion

On October 14&15th, the 15 -EURoma Network member states, coordinated by Fundación Secretariado Gitano, gathered online to analyse the new European Strategic Framework for Roma equality, participation and inclusion for the next decade, and the 2021-2027 European Cohesion Funds programming as opportunities for effective equality of Roma population.

Coordinated by Fundación Secretariado Gitano as Technical Secretariat of EURoma Network, the meeting welcomed over 70 participants from the 15-member countries, and a large European Commission representation: DG REGIO (Andor Urmos); DG EMPL (Teresa Epalza) and DG JUST (Dora Husz) as well as representatives from Spanish Administration Ministry of Employment and Social Economy (Ángel García Frontelo) and Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda (Patricia Bezunartea).

European Commission representatives highlighted that the coming decade englobed in the Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Participation, may significantly impact in poverty reduction and discrimination eradication for Roma population.

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit opened the session reminding the participants that “Roma equality, inclusion and participation, are not only human rights but an imperative from the European Pillar for Social Rights.”

Few people know as much as Roma people about resilience” said Ángel García Frontelo, Deputy General Director of ESF Managing Unit from Spanish Ministry of Labour, recalling the major setback in access to essential services and the raise of poverty gap due to Coronavirus pandemic. “It is time to develop policies to reduce poverty. Every policy needs funding but funding needs good policies”.

Patricia Bezunartea, General Director for Family Diversity and Social Services at Spanish Ministry for Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, underlined the importance of EURoma Network, that in her words “has become an important actor at European level for Roma policies and European funding: the Network has the capacity of bringing together both administrations with both responsabilities”.

Mrs. Bezunartea highlighted the challenged faced by European member states in the coming years to face and combat efficiently Roma population persistent inequality, social exclusion and discrimination. European countries National Strategies for Roma Equality are due by September 2021, to be monitored biannually. The new European Framework also provide for civil society to report on target accomplishment, quantified with indicators to monitor progress.

It is essential, reported EURoma Network members, to coordinate those National Strategies for Roma Equality, as the main national policy documents for Roma Inclusion, with European Cohesion Funds, such as European Social Fund (ESF+ ) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). ESF+, beside including Roma inclusion as a specific target, is now compelling states to a 25% funds allocation for social inclusion. A proposal by the European Commission for an extra 5% funds earmarking for child poverty eradication which affects significantly Roma communities, is now under discussion.

To facilitate Member States to program EU Funds in aligment with their policy priorities reflected in their National Roma strategies, 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. “It is a very useful tool to foster Roma inclusion” stated the participants.

If European funding is coordinated with National Strategies for Roma Equality, both as specific targets as at mainstreamed level (in education, healthcare, housing and employment policies), as in the new horizontal targets (equality, inclusion and participation), the impact on Roma population will be significant.

 In Ángel G. Frontelo words “Let’s make of this decade the decade of Roma inclusion.




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