The findings of the study commissioned by the EESC and carried out in 27 Member States show that there is widespread frustration and distrust among the Roma community and civil society organisations. It seems that the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIs) have not met the growing expectations of the Roma.
The instruments and resources available appear insufficient to compensate for the continuing negative impact of discrimination and exclusion. The EESC feels that a rights-based approach is needed and emphasises that organised civil society, including Roma organisations and lobbies, must be fully involved throughout the development of NRISs (planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).
A large number of Roma women and girls continue to face multiple discrimination in various areas, ranging from health to employment and education, amongst others. They also have limited opportunities to influence the policies that most concern them. The EESC emphasises the importance of their involvement, with programmes aimed at Roma women foreseeing a majority of Roma women in their planning and implementation. The EESC calls for an end to segregated education and for the abolition of health practices which infringe ethical standards.
In June, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a hearing focusing on combating discrimination in the employment and recruitment of Roma, which revealed that the current strategies for fostering their inclusion in the labour market were largely failing.
"The European Economic and Social Committee considers that the participation of Roma at all stages of decision-making is essential for achieving effective policies that can make a real difference to their situation within the EU. However, the tools available today are not sufficient in this regard"
Despite many EU funding schemes, efforts so far have failed in making a significant impact on the life of Roma, an EESC hearing reveals
Europe's largest minority, numbering more than ten million people, continue to be discriminated against and marginalised in many Member States of the European Union. Human rights NGOs and EU policymakers who gathered at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) warned that in many cases police continue to use ethnic profiling against Roma people. A public hearing on "Addressing anti-gypsyism in ethnic profiling practices" was part of the third EU Roma Week, held by the EU institutions in Brussels from April 8 to 12.