The term "Roma" refers to a variety of groups of people who describe themselves as Roma, Gypsies, Manouches, Ashkali, Sinti, etc. For more than a thousand years, Roma people have been an integral part of European civilisation.
With an estimated population of 10 to 12 million in Europe (approximately six million of whom live in the EU), Roma people are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe. Most Roma are EU citizens, but many still face prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in their daily lives.
The European institutions and EU countries have a joint responsibility to improve the social inclusion and integration of Roma by using all the available instruments and policies. In the past, the EU has repeatedly stressed the need for better integration of Roma. Despite this, strong and proportionate measures are still not in place to tackle the deep-rooted problems facing a large proportion of the EU's Roma population.
Final report on "Better inclusion of the Roma community through civil society initiatives"
Support for Roma integration has long been an EESC priority. Alongside a number of exploratory and own-initiative opinions, the Committee launched a project at the start of 2014, entitled "Better inclusion of the Roma community through civil society initiatives". Its aim was to examine the impact of relevant European legislation from an (organised) civil society perspective, to identify its shortcomings and to come up with proposals regarding the next steps to be taken.
Project participants had the opportunity during hearings to get first-hand information from experts, civil society interest groups and EU policy makers, and to gain valuable experience from study visits to various countries and from their meetings with government and civil society representatives.
This report and the accompanying proposal are based on the knowledge and information provided by our partners. We would like to place particular emphasis on their ideas and on their recommendations and, in some cases, demands for the future, thereby representing the interests of civil society and creating a fairer Europe with greater solidarity.
Download the report below.