Last week, the European Commission published the 2019 Report on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). The report provides an overview of the Member States’ Roma inclusion measures and includes policy conclusions for future action.
The EU framework for NRIS up to 2020 was launched to encourage the development of national Roma inclusion strategies in the four areas of education, employment, housing and health. As this framework is coming to an end, the Commission published an evaluation regarding its impact on EU policy, legal and funding instruments in 2018, focusing on the implementation at national levels.
Education was the area with the highest number of interventions and evaluations. According to the report, educational segregation is a problem as 13 % and 33% of Roma children attend schools where either all or most students are Roma, respectively. The report found that the most widespread achievement was improving mediation, developing kindergarten capacities and tackling early school-leaving. Challenges concern absenteeism, the transition to secondary school and the completion of secondary education. Policy lessons common to most Member States concern the importance of early intervention and prevention; the need to ensure participation and empowerment of parents, the role of extracurricular activities for strengthening the social networks of children.
Eurodiaconia has welcomed the EU framework for NRIS as a positive step towards improving the living conditions of Roma through a systematic approach. Based on our members’ experience in providing social services to Roma, we have advocated for a follow-up EU framework post-2020. Our recent Hearing on the Future EU Roma Strategy event which took place in Brussels concluded that a new framework should pay more attention to the needs of EU mobile Roma and the phenomenon of anti-gypsyism. Moreover, efforts to support vulnerable groups such as children will remain a priority. Next week, we will hold our annual Roma network meeting hosted by our Serbian member EHO in Novi Sad to discuss strategies that contribute to social inclusion and participation of Roma.
To learn more about the state of play of Roma inclusion, please access the report at the website of the European Commission.
To learn more about the outcome of our Brussels event on Roma, please read the event report.