EESC opinion: Roma – Societal empowerment and integration

16 Jun 2011
Adopted References: SOC/397 EESC-2011-998 Exploratory Opinion Rapporteur: Topolánszky (Various interests - GR III / Hungary) Plenary Session: 472 - 15 Jun 2011 - 16 Jun 2011 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 248/16, 25.08.2011
Societal empowerment and integration of Roma citizens in Europe

EESC opinion: Roma – Societal empowerment and integration

Key points

The European Economic and Social Committee:

  • thoroughly welcomes and appreciates all the efforts made hitherto by the European Union to reduce the segregation of the Roma and promote their social integration;
  • points out that these combined efforts have not helped in any decisive way to remedy the discrimination experienced by many Roma, nor to improve their quality of life;
  • emphasises that it will only be possible to improve this difficult situation by means of an integrated, coordinated and coherent Europe-wide strategy;
  • welcomes the proposals set out in the European Commission's communication on a European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, but feels that this long-awaited strategy could have been more ambitious, more specific and better structured;
  • suggests the following three pillars for a realistic, feasible policy to the Member States:

- a race- and ethnicity-neutral inclusive policy

- a policy to support empowerment of those who regard themselves as members of any Roma community

- general policies and publicity to combat racism;

  • emphasises the need to involve local civil society representatives, scientific specialists, the social partners and representatives of the Roma communities in policy consultation, formulation and implementation.