The European Commission adopted the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies showing its committment to Roma inclusion in four key areas - access to education, healthcare, employment and essential services.
However, many Roma advocates have already criticised the framework for not specifying real measures to combat discrimination towards the Roma community
Further to several EU Summits on the Roma population, the Communication on the socio-economic integration of the Roma and calls from the European Parliament, the European Commission has published the ’EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’.
The EU framework sets goals for Roma Inclusion in:
Education: ensuring that all Roma children complete primary school
Employment: cutting the employment gap between Roma and other citizens
Health: reducing the health gap, for example by cutting child mortality among Roma
Housing: closing the gap in access to housing and public utilities such as water and electricity
The European Commission forsees that each Member State will have to submit a national Roma inclusion strategy explaining how they will reach the goals set in the framework.
In addition, the Commission makes proposals on how the EU funds can be streamlined to support Roma integration (eg structural funds and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development).
The proposal also puts in place a monitoring system which will be mainly coordinated by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency. The Commission will report back annually on the progress made in the EU countries.
Although the publication of a framework is welcomed, Roma activists reacted quite strongly to the publication of the framework, highlighting that the framework is weak on:
proposing concrete measure to figth discrimination, exclusion, physical and verbal violence against Roma all across the EU. It also lacks concrete quantified targets to achieve the proposed goals.
mentioning the fight against the wide-spread anti-Roma sentiment
involving the Roma community itself
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