Following Principle I of the European Pillar of Social Rights, everyone is entitled to quality and inclusive education and training across the lifecycle. The former is essential to ensure active social participation and successfully navigating the digital and green transitions. 

However, inclusive access to education and training remains elusive for many Roma across Europe. Discrimination and anti-gypsyism persist within the educational and training landscape, contributing to low levels of participation in ECEC, lack of completion of formal education and school absenteeism. In addition, there is a structural human rights issue concerning school and spatial segregation which further widens the educational and skills attainment gap for Roma.  

Eurodiaconia recognises the potential of the European Skills Agenda and the initiatives launched during the European Year of Skills in effectively translating the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into action. On this matter, addressing the particular situation of Roma and other minorities requires from overarching policy instruments explicitly but not exclusively acknowledging these groups, without relegating Roma needs solely to isolated policy frameworks.  

In this position paper, we advocate for the promotion of inclusive education and training to foster a sense of belonging by incorporating Roma history and culture in school curricula, support and train educators and increasing the representation of Roma professionals in educational institutions. In this sense, active spatial and educational desegregation plans should be implemented alongside inclusive educational systems. Finally, we call for the provision of low-threshold support and the facilitation of up-and re-skilling for those who are further from the labour market. This should inclusive active outreach measures to prevent Roma to be left behind from these programmes. Likewise,  to incorporate an intersectional approach to all policies concerning educational, skilling and employment support, as well as to effectively support social educational service providers committed to inclusive education and training.  

We invite you to read our position paper on ‘Education and skills across the life cycle for Roma Inclusion’, where you can find our recommendations to address the challenges that Roma learners face when accessing quality education and training, as well as snaps from our members’ projects. You can also read our previous report on ‘Addressing barriers for Roma to access employment’ here.