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EU is preparing to celebrate the International Roma Day

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The Roma are Europe’s largest, and most discriminated ethnic minority, with 10-12 million Roma living in the EU and in the enlargement region. The EU Roma Strategic Framework 2020-2030 adopted by the Commission in October 2020  contributed to the implementation of the EU Action Plan against racism 2020-2025. It sets out a three-pillar approach that complements the socio-economic inclusion of marginalised Roma with fostering equality and participation.

In the the EU Roma Strategic Framework 2020-2030 , unanimously adopted in March 2021, Member States have committed to implement concrete measures to address the inequalities faced by Roma.

The Strategic Framework ties in with the work of the Commission in other areas, such as the Victims’ Rights Strategy, the Gender Equality Strategy, the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, the EU Gender Action Plan in External relations, and in the implementation of the 2019 EU guidelines on non-discrimination in external action.

EU funds for Roma equality, inclusion and participation are available in the context of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) through structural funds, the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA), the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI), the Technical Support Instrument, the Economic and Investment Plan for Western Balkans, as well as under NextGenerationEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.


Ahead of the International Roma Day on 8 April, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi, issued the following statement:

“International Roma Day is dedicated to Europe’s largest ethnic minority. It is a celebration of diversity, of Roma culture and art, of their language and contribution to European history and society. 53 years ago, on 8 April 1971, representatives of Roma people from different backgrounds and countries met at the first Roma congress and together agreed on the Roma flag, the Roma anthem and the common name ‘Roma’.

Today Roma still face high levels of antigypsyism and discrimination in their daily lives. 80% of Roma in 10 EU countries are at risk of poverty, 52% experience housing deprivation, 22% live in homes without running water.  Roma continue to face serious challenges in accessing rights and services equally. This also includes equal access to quality education, employment or healthcare.

The EU Roma Strategic Framework 2020-2030 has set targets for Member States to reach by 2030 including cutting the poverty gap between Roma and non-Roma by at least half, decreasing the gap in housing deprivation faced by Roma by at least one-third, and reducing the proportion of Roma children attending segregated primary schools.The Western Balkans and Türkiye adopted National Strategies aiming to align their policy with the EU Framework.
We call on Member States and our enlargement partners, particularly those with a significant Roma population, to step up their efforts to match the extent of the challenges and achieve visible progress. By working together and making effective use of the available support and funding we can build a fair and equal Europe for the benefit of all.”

Most of the policy areas concerning Roma equality, inclusion and participation are primarily national responsibilities. The EU plays an important role to provide policy guidance, coordinate actions by Member States, monitor implementation and progress, provide support via EU funds, and promote exchanges of promising practices. The Commission also monitors the correct implementation of the EU legal framework on equality and non-discrimination, notably the Racial Equality Directive. The EU plays an important role in promoting Roma equality, inclusion and participation in EU enlargement negotiations.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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