Improving the situation of Roma
Mr Zoltán Balog, Hungarian State Secretary
and Commissioner Laszlo Andor
at the press conference
© European Union
On 19 May the ministers adopted conclusions on "An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020", inviting the member states to pursue goals in the fields of education, employment, healthcare and housing, so as to close the gaps between marginalised Roma communities and the general population.
National strategies or integrated sets of policy measures are to be drawn up by the Member States by the end of 2011. They are also invited to consider the need to advance the social and economic inclusion of Roma when designing, implementing and monitoring their National Reform Programmes in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
More specifically, the member states should improve access to quality services in the fields of education and healthcare, as well as access to housing and employment. Integrated action covering all four priority areas is needed and the member states should pay special attention to the gender dimension and promote desegregation.
In order to do improve the situation, the member states are invited to set achievable national goals, to identify the most disadvantaged micro-regions or segregated communities, to allocate sufficient funding from national budgets, to cooperate closely with Roma civil society and regional and local authorities, and to appoint national contact points.
In addition, together with the Commission, they are invited to make better use of the EU funds available for Roma integration projects.
The inclusion of Roma is an urgent social priority, as about 8 million citizens of the EU are Roma. Many experience marginalisation, social exclusion, discrimination, segregation and extreme poverty. This often means limited access to quality education and jobs, low income levels, sub-standard housing conditions, insufficient access to quality services, poor health and lower life expectancy.
Press release (pdf)
Press conference webcast