Today, the Commission adopted its annual report on the implementation of national Roma integration strategies, summarising the most important trends focusing on the four policy areas of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (education, employment, health, housing), as well as fighting discrimination and antigypsyism. The report highlights that education is the area where Member States are doing the most work to promote Roma inclusion. EU Member States have put in place a number of measures in this field, including to limit early school-leaving of Roma children.
“It is really encouraging to see the progress that has been made by Member States in the past year, especially on the integration of Roma in their education systems. This is an essential foundation for long-term integration in the labour market and in broader European society,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
“Receiving proper education from an early age gives every child a chance in life. Member States have worked hard. Now, 90% of Roma children attend primary and lower secondary school. This is an encouraging step towards promoting integration of the Roma in society. Still, a lot remains to be done to help Roma integrate fully in society, in particular on access to public utilities, decent housing, employment and healthcare. I call on all Member States to continue their efforts, so that all Roma can enjoy the same rights as any other European citizen,” added Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.
The report further examines the success factors for Roma inclusion. A lot of work still remains to be done: first results of a Eurobarometer on discrimination that will be published in the coming weeks reveal that 61% of the respondents feel that discrimination against Roma is widespread in their country, and only 19% of the respondents think their country’s efforts to integrate its Roma population are effective. The report, a factsheet including examples of initiatives from the Member States and further information about the National Roma Integration Strategies is available online.