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European Recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation for the next decade now approved [editar]

The Recommendation gives a new political impetus to progress in education, employment, health, housing, participation, the fight against poverty, social exclusion, discrimination and antigypsyism.


European Recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation for the next decade now approved

At the FSG we welcome the Council Recommendation of 12 March 2021 on Roma equality, inclusion and participation, as it offers a renewed and strengthened commitment from the EU and its Member States to push forward policy measures to tackle the enormous inequality gap suffered by the Roma population across Europe.

To this end, it guides States towards investment in long-term policies and programmes with objectives in the fields of education, employment, housing and health, as well as cross-cutting objectives relating to equality (the fight against discrimination and antigypsyism), inclusion (the fight against poverty and social exclusion) and participation (both social and political). It is closely linked to EU political and financial instruments and includes a battery of indicators by which to measure progress.  Member States have until September 2021 to design their National Strategic Frameworks (National Strategies) for the inclusion of the Roma population, and these will be continuously monitored by the European Commission.     

Although the Recommendation is a non-binding instrument, it establishes a series of guidelines to enable Member States to better focus investments intended to overcome the inequality and discrimination suffered by Roma people across Europe, with a view to the long-term. This Recommendation renews the previous one, in operation from 2011 to 2020, the positive impacts of which have been very limited. The new Recommendation offers a fresh impetus to achieve concrete, measurable results over the next decade.

Member States will design their National Strategies according to the guidelines in the Recommendation. Spain will have to design its own Strategy before September 2021.    

The Recommendation represents progress in terms of establishing the specific measures which need to be implemented, as well as setting out the precise objectives and indicators which must be met in the various areas in which investment is required. The need to take account of the diversity of realities among the Roma population is expressly stated, with special emphasis placed upon Roma children, women and Roma people from Eastern Europe. The Recommendation´s close links with the European Cohesion Fund as well as with the European Semester present an opportunity to achieve a greater social impact.   

We are pleased to see that the Recommendation expressly mentions the EURoma Network as a space for transnational exchange which member States should make use of. The EURoma Network is a joint initiative of the FSG and Spain´s Managing Authority for European Social Funds which has been operative for more than 13 years. It brings together the public authorities responsible for policies directed towards the Roma population with those responsible for managing IEE Funds in 15 EU countries, with the objective of promoting social inclusion, equal opportunities and non-discrimination for the Roma population through better use of ESI Funds. The FSG directs the Technical Secretariat responsible for the Network.    

The FSG has participated intensively in the monitoring, evaluation and consultation related to the European Framework 2011-2020 which has been carried out over recent years by the European Commission, making proposals to improve the European Framework being launched today. We are satisfied with the final design of the Recommendation and we see many of our proposals reflected in it. We now hope that the implementation of the new Framework, as part of Member States´ National Strategies, is designed with the ambition and the architecture necessary to achieve real progress in terms of equality and inclusion for the Roma population in Spain and in the rest of Europe.

On the other hand, we have published a joint statement together with other European entities, about our first impressions of this new Council Recommendation. The European Coalition of Roma and pro-Roma organizations welcomes the adoption of a Council Recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation (you can find full statement as attached document). Within which we would like to highlight those of Isidro Rodríguez, General Director of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano: “We very much welcome the renewal of the political will to Roma equality and inclusion. There is a clear message that inequality, racism and discrimination cannot continue to exist in Europe. We now have the best-ever policy instrument, but it needs to operate in the best-ever conditions by fully aligning it with mainstream policy frameworks and by taking the opportunities offered by the current financial instruments. We urge Member States and the European Commission not to miss another decade ”, says Isidro Rodríguez, Director of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano.