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The Fundación Secretariado Gitano presents in Brussels the Evaluation of the impact of 20 years of the Acceder programme on employment for the Roma population in Spain [editar]

The European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, opens the event


The Fundación Secretariado Gitano presents in Brussels the Evaluation of the impact of 20 years of the Acceder programme on employment for the Roma population in Spain

The Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) ended in Brussels a series of presentations of the Evaluation of the impact of its training and employment programme, Acceder, at the heart of European politics. The programme has run successfully for more than 20 years thanks to continuous support from the European Social Fund through the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy and the Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, as well as from numerous regional and local authorities and private organisations.

The event has included the presentation of the Evaluation of the Results and Impact of the Acceder Programme 2000-2020, a study carried out for the FSG by the Red2Red consultancy which provides qualitative and quantitative data on the labour market inclusion among the Roma population achieved through this initiative.

The complete event can be watched in the following video:


Various representatives of European institutions have been present at the event: Sara Giménez, President of the FSG, Isidro Rodríguez, Director General of the FSG, Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights; María Iglesia, Director (Acting) at the DG Employment, and Szabolcs Schmidt, Head of Unit at DG Justice. Spanish public authorities, Spanish companies and private organisations, as well as programme participants and professionals have also participated. 

Commissioner Schmit thanked Fundación Secretariado Gitano and the Spanish European Social Fund Managing Authorityfor their productive cooperation and specially for their efforts to increase Roma inclusion in all parts of Spanish society”.

The event included round tables in which relevant stakeholders and participants linked to the Acceder programme reflected about the the impact Evaluation of the Acceder. Programme participants and staff, representatives of collaborating companies (such as Carrefour and Accenture Foundation) and funders (ESF+ Administration Units at the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy and the Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda) shared their views and reflections at this event.

María Iglesia, during her intervention at the closing remarks mentioned how at the European Commission (ESF) "we have seen the Acceder growing and how it has become a reference in the sector and in the ESF for its efficience and result-oriented actions. (...) This experience can be scaled up, can be adapted to other situations. From the Commission, from DG Employment, nothing but support this idea of transferability". 

Szabolcs Schmidt, during his speech at the closing ceremony, referred to the Acceder programme as "a European example for the Commission and for other Member States".

Director General of FSG closed the event by stressing that "structural inequality and discrimination of the Roma population is a major challenge in the European Union". And he recalled that “the European Social Fund allows for scalable investments with a long-term perspective, which is essential to promote inclusion".

Results with impact

In the last 20 years, 109,875 people have participated in the Acceder programme, of whom 82,091 have taken part in training and employment pathways, and 33,344 have obtained a job. During this time, 91,733 work contracts have been signed and 15,967 companies have collaborated with the programme, these statistics showing the programme to be one of the backbones of the FSG’s activities. The Evaluation shows the impact of the Acceder programme not only on those who take part in its training and employment pathways, but also on their families and their environment, with access to the labour market through salaried employment helping to transform the lives of Roma people, improving their employability and aiding their social advancement. Commissioner Schmit said to be “very proud of Europe to support this kind of programmes because this shows that Europe is changing people’s lives, and that’s why we have to continue”.

“The effectiveness of Acceder’s model of intervention for labour market inclusion is based on the way it adapts to each participant’s specific needs and profile, as well as to the requirements and opportunities identified in the labour market”, stated Sara Giménez, stressing the importance of doing so “in partnership with companies and institutions”.

In terms of qualitative impact, it should be highlighted that the Acceder Programme has contributed to improving the quality of life of Roma people, generating employment opportunities, offering training and easier access to employment, and leading to an increase in the value placed on training, education and return to education. It has been a catalyst for vital changes to boost the advancement of Roma women through entry into the labour market, and has also proved a useful antidote to discrimination and antigypsyism, helping to break down negative stereotypes and prejudices.

The Acceder programme is recognised a model of Good Practice in Europe. Thanks to support from the European Social Fund, it provides a blueprint for the design of initiatives and public policies related to employment and social protection for disadvantaged groups such as the Roma population. Acceder’s model of intervention could serve as inspiration for other European contexts in which Roma people suffer serious inequality and discrimination when seeking access to the labour market. “Spain is an important leader in working for the rights of Roma people, it has an important Roma population and it can give a very strong signals and be inspiring to other Member States with similar communities”, concluded the Commissioner. In the same terms, the Director General of FSG, Isidro Rodríguez said: "it is time to implement intervention models, such as Acceder, which have already been tested and already proved to be effective".

Main conclusions

The Acceder programme is achieving its objectives and, in addition, is contributing to social and institutional changes which help to create an environment favourable to the fight against the inequality and discrimination suffered by the Roma population. 

The Acceder programme is an effective, efficient programme which has helped 4 out of 10 people to access employment. As the FSG President highlighted “one of the main conclusions show “with adequate resources and tailored policies, it is possible to combat inequality”. Its results and impact show that the European Social Fund is a key tool for the promotion of equal opportunities in access to the labour market for disadvantaged groups such as the Roma population, and hence for the promotion of equal treatment and the fight against the discrimination suffered by the largest ethnic minority in Europe.

Copyright photos: Olivier Anbergen

This event was held in the framework of the biannual EURoma Network management meeting. The EURoma Network brings together public authorities responsible for Roma policies and those responsible for EU Funds from 15 countries working together to achieve social inclusion, equal opportunities and non-discrimination of Roma.

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