Socio-economic integration of Roma

Key points

  • The Committee welcomes the proposition of the European Commission but regrets that the objectives of the framework strategy find serious difficulties in terms of implementation and political commitment at national, regional and local level.
  • It draws attention to the shortcomings pointed out by civil society organisations on the framework strategy and the national strategies and thinks that it is vital to take these shortcomings seriously and remedy them.
  • The EESC considers that the Council should make use of its power  to adopt legally binding acts in order to alleviate the distress and great poverty that endangers people's lives and to combat the most extreme effects of discrimination, racism and anti-Roma prejudice.
  • The Committee also advocates clear frameworks for the implementation of human rights and the introduction of benchmarks and indicators.
  • It recommends that groups of independent researchers assess the implementation of the strategies and are backed up by assured and transparent funding.
  • Equality authorities and national contact points should be strengthened by legal and other necessary guarantees.
  • In order to increase the effectiveness of strategy implementation and remedy the loss of trust observed within these communities, it is vital to properly involve and mobilise the Roma in all of the areas of action.
  • The Committee stresses the need for decision-makers to unambiguously distance themselves from racist pronouncements about the Roma. Outbreaks of violence and hate speech should be condemned, and  legal, administrative, regulatory and public relations instruments should be put in place.