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Roma integration in the context of equal treatment

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Roma integration in the context of equal treatment



A Council recommendation adopted in 2013 calls for measures to be taken in a number of areas, including anti-discrimination, to strengthen the integration of Roma people, Europe’s largest ethnic minority.


It demonstrates the strong and shared political commitment of all EU countries to strengthen their efforts to:

combat social exclusion and discrimination, and

achieve real improvements in promoting Roma integration in the areas of education, employment, health and housing.


Specifically in regard to discrimination, the recommendation calls on EU countries to:

fully enforce Directive 2000/43/EC which lays down a framework for combating discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. Court of Justice of the European Union rulings in a number of cases serve as a point of reference for the human rights compatibility of laws and practices,

implement — both regionally and locally — desegregation measures (i.e. actions to end the separation of different groups in the population) concerning Roma. Such measures, focusing on human rights protection, need to be accompanied by appropriate training and information campaigns for local officials, relevant citizens’ groups, as well as Roma themselves,

ensure that any forced evictions fully comply with EU law as well with other international human rights obligations, such as those of the European Convention on Human Rights.

enforce measures to combat discrimination and prejudice against Roma in all areas of society:

raising awareness of the benefits of Roma integration among Roma communities and the general public,

sensitising the public to the problems faced by Roma, using relevant education and teaching materials,

combating anti-Roma rhetoric and hate speech and other behaviours that incite discrimination and prejudice.

Monitoring and evaluation

EU countries need to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures that they take both in terms of their national Roma integration strategies and within their broader social inclusion policies.

This can be done by setting targets or by collecting qualitative or quantitative data on the social and economic effects of the measures taken.

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has developed a multiannual Roma programme (2012–2020). It prepares regular reports on progress made and provides evidence-based advice to the EU institutions and EU countries based on data gathered from across the EU.

Reporting and follow-up

EU countries are to report to the European Commission by 1 January 2016 any measures taken in line with the recommendation. Thereafter, they are to provide this information on an annual basis.

The Commission, in turn, ensures that the information provided serves as a basis for its annual report on the implementation of national Roma integration strategies.

The results also feed into the European Semester process for economic policy coordination. Since 2012, as part of the European Semester, the Council has issued country-specific recommendations to five countries with large Roma communities (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia).


EU Agency for Fundamental Rights


Council Recommendation of 9 December 2013 on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States (OJ C 378, 24.12.2013, pp. 1–7)


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (COM(2011) 173 final of 5 April 2011)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Report on the implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies 2015 (COM(2015) 299 final of 17 June 2015)

Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, pp. 22–26)

An EU framework for national Roma integration strategies up to 2020 – Council conclusions (OJ C 258, 2.9.2011, pp. 6–9)

last update 26.10.2015