EU Member States should deliver on their commitments to ensure equality and do more to improve the economic and social integration of Europe's 10 to 12 million Roma, the European Commission has said.
The call follows the Commission's new progress report which shows that Member States need to do better in implementing their national Roma integration strategies submitted under the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies.
The new report is accompanied by a proposal for a Recommendation addressed to EU countries which proposes to Member States on the one hand specific measures, including positive action, and on the other hand, horizontal policy measures, including local actions to improve the situation of Roma people.
“If Member States are serious about their national strategies, they need to move up a gear on Roma integration. The EU Framework for national Roma integration has been in place for over two years. It's time that strategies are followed by concrete actions," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "Although some progress has been made, it remains only limited. That's why we are now giving specific guidance to help Member States strengthen and accelerate their efforts: action to help Roma needs to go local, different countries need to work together, and urgent intervention is needed to address the situation of young Roma."
László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion said: “Roma inclusion measures must be implemented and monitored with the full involvement of civil society, including representatives of Roma communities themselves. They – together with National Roma Contact Points – must also be involved in the current planning of the use of EU funds for 2014-2020”.
Commissioner Andor asked the EU Member States – especially those with large Roma communities – to “urgently and forcefully promote effective equal access for Roma to education and the labour market.”