EESC opinion: Integration of minorities – Roma

EESC opinion: Integration of minorities – Roma

Key points:

The radical shift that is needed in relations between minorities, especially the Roma, and the majority population, including their integration and a change in their socio-economic position, is a long term process that nevertheless requires a "two track" approach:

a) on a short term basis, dealing with those issues, which need immediate emergency action.

b) by initiating a process that will take decades and even generations in particular at the levels of the Member States and/or the regional and local level.

Integration of minorities, especially Rom requires:

  1. a legal basis for action that builds on the acquis as well as on the pertinent areas of the open method of coordination (education, employment, social protection and social inclusion);
  2. a coherent and long-term umbrella policy strategy from the Commission;
  3. structured, transparent and sustainable cooperation between all organised civil society players and the promotion of capacity building for NGOs;
  4. the active responsible involvement of the Roma representatives in the process, and
  5. a responsible institutionalised platform structure for the practical implementation of specific steps;
  6. positive action programmes to be developed around education, training and employment, including self employment.