Three years into the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation for 2020-2030, the Commission has provided Member States and accession countries with an assessment of their National Roma Strategic Frameworks (NRSF). These NRSFs are the national Roma inclusion strategies that Member States and accession countries use to work towards equality for Roma. To assess these strategies, the Commission released a communication, including an assessment report, a submission overview, and two working documents outlining specific assessments of each country’s strategy.
The Roma Health Network welcomes the assessment and in particular the assessment of the Roma health action plans. At the same time, it acknowledges that health is a difficult topic to get a grasp on, and that additional information is necessary. The Network had already contributed to the health aspect of the strategies through its recommendations to the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) and a policy paper released in October 2022. To specify extra efforts needed to work towards Roma health equity, The Roma Health Network complements the Commission’s assessment with a statement.
Based on input from its members, the Network encourages member states to take the following points into account:
- To commit to Roma health through development and usage of health indicators, paired with a health action plan, timeframe and monitoring framework
- To set up a health advocacy scheme to ensure structural support and financing for health mediation, capacity building and Roma participation
- To include an explicit focus on the importance of Roma mental health in the health action plan
In addition to these three general points, the statement also includes country-specific considerations to help these countries target their efforts more successfully. The ball is now in the Member State’s court, and they have until June this year to make the proposed changes in their strategies. We encourage them to take these points into account to help make the EU Roma Strategic Framework a success and realise equality for Roma.