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Document 52012SC0133

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework

/* SWD/2012/0133 final */

52012SC0133

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework /* SWD/2012/0133 final */


COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1........... Introduction.................................................................................................................... 4

2........... Key points from the Commission's assessment of the 27 National

............. Roma Integration strategies............................................................................................. 5

2.1........ Belgium.......................................................................................................................... 5

2.2........ Bulgaria.......................................................................................................................... 7

2.3........ Czech Republic............................................................................................................ 10

2.4........ Denmark...................................................................................................................... 13

2.5........ Germany...................................................................................................................... 15

2.6........ Estonia......................................................................................................................... 17

2.7........ Ireland.......................................................................................................................... 19

2.8........ Greece......................................................................................................................... 21

2.9........ Spain............................................................................................................................ 23

2.10...... France.......................................................................................................................... 23

2.11...... Italy.............................................................................................................................. 23

2.12...... Cyprus......................................................................................................................... 23

2.13...... Latvia........................................................................................................................... 23

2.14...... Lithuania....................................................................................................................... 23

2.15...... Luxembourg................................................................................................................. 23

2.16...... Hungary....................................................................................................................... 23

2.17...... Malta........................................................................................................................... 23

2.18...... Netherlands.................................................................................................................. 23

2.19...... Austria......................................................................................................................... 23

2.20...... Poland.......................................................................................................................... 23

2.21...... Portugal........................................................................................................................ 23

2.22...... Romania....................................................................................................................... 23

2.23...... Slovenia....................................................................................................................... 23

2.24...... Slovakia....................................................................................................................... 23

2.25...... Finland......................................................................................................................... 23

2.26...... Sweden........................................................................................................................ 23

2.27...... United Kingdom........................................................................................................... 23

1.           Introduction

All EU Member States were expected to develop or update their national strategies according to their different starting points and to the size of Roma population[1] living on their territories, in line with the requirements laid down in the EU Framework.

In its assessment the Commission relied on the information provided in the strategies and focused on the specific issues highlighted in the EU Framework under the four key priority areas. As the aim of the EU Framework is to bring about a change in the approach to Roma inclusion from scattered, project-based and unrelated interventions to a comprehensive approach embracing all four key areas through an integrated and coordinated effort, the assessment also examined whether such strategic thinking could be seen in the strategies.

In addition, the assessment also covers the structural requirements specified in the EU Framework, including the involvement of all important national stakeholders, the creation of a robust monitoring system, the appointment of a national contact point, ensuring the protection of fundamental rights and monitoring. Particular attention was also paid to the use of EU funding and more generally of resources secured so as to ensure the effective and sustainable implementation of the strategies.

The subsequent country specific summaries highlight the key elements and the gaps identified by the Commission's assessment for each Member State's strategy.

2.           Key points from the Commission's assessment of the 27 National Roma Integration strategies

2.1.        Belgium

Document sent to the Commission on: || 6 March 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 30 000 Roma; 9 250 Travellers

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 30 000 i.e. 0.29 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Principle of equal and non-discriminatory access to education. Provision of education to every child and young person (6-18 years old) from the Roma community, independently of his/her status, which corresponds to the full enforcement of compulsory primary education in compliance to national law. || The action plan requires more information on the order of magnitude, indicators, monitoring and funding at the different levels of implementation.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Measures targeted at intermediaries dedicated to train, improve knowledge and collect information for welfare services. Data collection. Pilot project: "from migrants to middle class" (Brussels) || Indicators and data (e.g. clear description of the baseline etc.) as well as clear earmarking of financial means should be added in order to enable monitoring and assessing whether the actions meet the objectives. Attention should also be paid to the gender issue.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Ensuring Roma have accessible, quality and sustainable healthcare services, mainly using existing services. Pilot project focused upon the provision of healthcare services to Roma patients in the area of Sint-Niklaas. || Further work is needed to clarify goals, how progress will be evaluated and to develop an action plan with detailed measures.

|| ||

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Housing policy (for Roma and other target groups) aiming at increasing the availability of good and appropriate housing, for an accessible price. Development of halting sites by the Flemish authorities to use as caravan camps by the local authorities or social housing agencies. || Cohesion policy financial instruments could contribute to social housing in the framework of an integrated approach. Local plans should also be taken into account by the strategy, particularly those plans implemented through urban type of interventions.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: A "Council for the Roma and the Travellers" will be established by the federal government. A special "Roma Helpdesk" will be established within the federal ministry for social integration Implementation of the national strategy will be monitored on an annual basis through a working group/committee gathering representatives of the various instances. || Details on the funding of the proposed action plans by the different decision-making levels should be included. Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be specified in the strategy.

2.2.        Bulgaria

Document sent to the Commission on: || 24 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 325 343 (January 2011 census), i.e. 4.9% of the population

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 750 000 i.e. 10.33 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: School dropout correctly identified as a key problem that needs to be addressed. Focal and whole day schools, where children receive a meal and extracurricular activities. Training of teachers on multiculturalism. Measures to step up parental involvement. || Segregation in primary and secondary education could have been more appropriately addressed. More attention should be paid to higher education. Indicators are mentioned, but goals are not quantified. The scope of the envisaged intervention is limited by the planned funding. Monitoring and data collection on the share of Roma within overall early school leavers would be necessary.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Training courses for the unemployed, for labour office staff on the Roma, on entrepreneurship and management. Subsidised employment for vulnerable groups. Appointment of Roma representatives in the employment agencies in regions with predominant Roma population. || More measures to improve Roma employment in rural areas could have been envisaged. Effectiveness of public works programmes to provide (re)qualification and lead to sustainable employment should be examined. Appropriate funding (both national and EU should be indicated.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Focus on increase of qualified Roma in the healthcare system, promotion of health mediators and mobile health units. Family planning support. Immunisation campaigns. Information campaigns. Training and informing health professionals on the Roma culture. || The lack of health insurance coverage is a key problem for a large percentage of the Roma population and needs to be addressed in more detail. Other further work should include development of preventive services including immunisation, creating healthy living conditions via an integrated approach including social assistance. More work is needed on information systems to monitor health needs and health outcomes of Roma. Registration with public authorities is necessary.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Pilot initiative for building new social housing in four Bulgarian municipalities, launched under the operational programme for regional development. Understanding of the existing problems, willingness to solve them and interest for Roma inclusion from local authorities. || The quantification of the scope of actions should be developed and be supported by appropriate funding. Municipalities are expected to make needs assessments and prepare action plans for the improvement of the housing conditions of Roma, but no measure is specified in order to ensure deliver. Desegregation in housing should be addressed along with desegregation in education and labour market integration.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy acknowledges the key role of municipalities in the implementation: municipalities will have to adopt annual action plans for implementing the activities planned in the strategy. Further consultation with respective bodies implementing the Action Plan is foreseen. The consultation and dialogue with civil society organisations on the preparation of the strategy was of high quality. || A territorial approach to Roma integration could be particularly relevant, in to the light of the uneven spread of the Roma population on the territory and the fact that local authorities have the competence for a number of social support measures. Appropriate funding for local authorities needs to be ensured. In the light of the considerable reliance on Structural Funds to support projects addressing the identified priorities, a significant improvement of the absorption capacity should be a priority. The strategy does not make reference to any potential contribution of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

2.3.        Czech Republic

Document sent to the Commission on: || 19 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 150 000 - 200 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 250 000 i.e. 1.93 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Increasing accessibility to pre-school education and early care services in socially excluded Roma localities. Improving the process of diagnosing the special educational needs of Roma pupils. Supporting teaching assistants. Supporting Roma children from elementary schools when transferring to the secondary and tertiary education systems. Full day schools. Life-long-learning on key skills and literacy. Developing models for inclusive education. || More concrete targets and corresponding measures are needed on how to tackle segregation of Roma children in the educational system. An integrated approach is also necessary.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Reform of public employment services in favour of disadvantaged Roma job applicants. Building the capacity of social services providers in socially excluded Roma localities. Supporting social businesses. Offering requalification courses and individual professional counselling on starting up a business. Fighting against illegal employment. Building financial literacy of Roma in socially excluded Roma localities. || Developing more concrete measures in the area of social economy and integration into open labour market would be needed. Reform of the public employment service should be complemented by accessible and targeted social services of high quality. Support for self-employment of Roma by microcredit schemes would be beneficial. Focus on effective grant policy for implementing the measures would be relevant.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Includes support for a   programme of health social assistants in socially excluded Roma localities. Improving the communication between the members of Roma communities and the medical personnel. Awareness raising on health and healthy lifestyle. || The strategy could be significantly improved through further measures to address accessibility of healthcare, preventive care and social services; the inclusion of measurable targets; a clearer timeframe for implementation; a clearer financial allocation and information systems to monitor health needs and health outcomes of Roma.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Revitalisation of socially excluded Roma localities via integrated urban development plans. Increase access to social housing for Roma households with low incomes. Reduction of the incidence of discrimination and unlawful practices applied to Roma in the housing market. Prevention of the loss of accommodation by socially excluded members of Roma communities as a result of rental arrears. || The strategy could be further improved by concrete measures to provide non-discriminatory access to housing, including good quality social housing. The implementation of measures should be underpinned by legal steps in the area of protection of Roma households against unlawful practices in the property market.

Structural requirements and funding || All goals fit the national context. Special attention is also paid to indebtedness and security of Roma as well as culture and language. The cooperation between the central government and regional authorities is foreseen. || The strategy would be more precise with a detailed description of the timeframe, monitoring and evaluation system. The sustainability of EU funded measures requires further attention. Specific attention should also be devoted to an integrated approach and cooperation and involvement of civil society.

2.4.        Denmark

Document sent to the Commission on: || 30 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 2 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 5 500 i.e. 0.10 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: In general terms, acknowledgement of the importance of education for the integration of disadvantaged groups, such as the Roma. Identification of lower educational achievements and school drop-out as the main challenges for Roma people. Recognition of lessons learnt from previous local experiences. || Key problems of school absenteeism, integration into mainstream classes and language barriers are well identified. Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Focus on the local level and recognition of lessons learnt from previous past experiences. Acknowledgement of the possible language barriers. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Health || The system in place is designed to respond to health needs of persons in disadvantaged situations, including the Roma. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Housing || All those legally residing in Denmark have equal access to a large social housing sector and to financial support for rent. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Structural requirements and funding || Stakeholders have been consulted on the preparation of the strategy and the fact that a continuous dialogue with stakeholders will be relevant for the next steps is acknowledged. A strong attention is put to the efforts needed at the municipal level and dissemination of knowledge and best practices at the local level is foreseen. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary for a robust monitoring.  Stronger cooperation and support to the local actors would be necessary. 

2.5.        Germany

Document sent to the Commission on: || 23 December 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 70 000 (including only German Sinti and Roma, not other EU or non-EU nationals)

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 105 000 i.e. 0.13 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: A basic right to education, on the basis of the principle of equal treatment ensures non-discriminatory access to education to all, including Sinti and Roma. Programmes improving the integration of disadvantaged groups within the education system. Sinti and Roma have access to the programmes offered on a non-discriminatory basis. General measures supporting individual learning available to all pupils, in some Länder targeted specific support (at project level) for Sinti and Roma. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Sinti and Roma people is necessary.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Support under the general worker-focussed integration concept available to all Sinti and Roma (including profiling focussing on the individual’s strengths and potential, objective setting, strategy development and implementation/follow-up). Problem-oriented, tailored support measures at Land level. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Sinti and Roma is necessary

Health || Access to healthcare and prevention services is available to all ensured people (provision of healthcare conditioned to the obligation to be registered within a health insurance scheme). In accordance with the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act healthcare and prevention services are available to foreign Roma with the status of ‘tolerated persons’ on account of their special residence status. Specific advice centres are available for Sinti and Roma in several Länder, funded partly by the Länder, to facilitate the access to health care and other services. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Sinti and Roma is necessary.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: No differentiation in housing provisions on the basis of ethnic origin. Particular attention paid to the needs of Sinti and Roma in some towns and cities in the context of housing and urban development policy. Social housing support provided to all disadvantaged, including Sinti and Roma, regardless of nationality or ethnic origin. ||  Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the specific situation of Sinti and Roma is necessary. , The opportunity offered by the cohesion policy instruments concerning social housing in the framework of an integrated approach should be considered.

Structural requirements and funding || Civil society organisations were consulted in the design of the strategy. Monitoring is  established in the context of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the Committee against the Discrimination of Races (CERD), but not at national level. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the specific situation of Sinti and Roma requires a robust monitoring at national level.

2.6.        Estonia

Document sent to the Commission on: || 22 December 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 600-1 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 1 250 i.e. 0.10 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Exchanges of best practices among schools. In-service training of school staff on Roma culture. Support to learning the Romani language. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma is necessary.

Employment || Measures are included within the mainstream political frame. Roma have the right to access labour market services and benefits as all other permanent resident in Estonia. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma is necessary.

Health || A link has been established between the socio-economic situation of Roma and their access to healthcare. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma is necessary.

Housing || The main responsibility lies in the hand of local authorities. || Support measures to local authorities in the planning and delivery of social housing interventions, as part of an integrated approach, would be needed.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy refers to nine Roma associations and cooperation and active dialogue are ongoing with some of the local associations. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

2.7.        Ireland

Document sent to the Commission on: || 31 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 22 435 Travellers and 3 000 Roma

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 37 500 i.e. 0.90 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Strong existing approach of intercultural education, where the specific needs of Travellers and Roma are dealt with on same basis as of needs of all other students. Some local examples of support to Roma adult education and Roma mediators. Specific and sizeable funding allocated in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the education of the Traveller community. || The approach should be integrated with interventions in other sectors.  Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget will secure the implementation of the strategy. It would be important to address the issue of early school leaving

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Local initiatives to enhance employment and enterprise support to Travellers. Provisions for an internship programme in the Civil service. || Scaling up initiatives, detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Considerable work undertaken in the area of Traveller health. A wide range of specific Traveller-dedicated health services. Strong dialogue mechanisms between Ministry of Health or health services and Travellers. Analysis of health situation of travellers well described in "All Ireland Traveller Health Study". || The specific situation and challenges met by Roma regarding health should be better described.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: 2009-2013 Traveller accommodation programme adopted by local authorities that defines annual targets and foresees annual reports. Traveller accommodation consultative committees both at local and national levels. || A long-term approach is missing.

Structural requirements and funding || The role of local and regional authorities is very much highlighted in the implementation of measures, especially in the housing sector. The monitoring system is detailed for each policy areas. || Measures to improve the consultation and political engagement of Roma and Travellers would be needed. A planning with financial resources for incoming years should be included.

2.8.        Greece

Document sent to the Commission on: || 30 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 50 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 265 000 i.e. 2.47 % of the population

Approach || National strategy.

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Reduction of early drop outs at all levels of education; reduction of adult illiteracy. Supporting participation of Roma in pre-school education. Systemic monitoring of enrolment and attendance of Roma children in all compulsory education. Providing information on children's rights. || Focus on desegregation and applying an integrated approach would be necessary. There is also need to enforce full compulsory education, strengthen learning support and fight prejudices.

Employment || Local targeted actions promote employment and business activities in line with the assessment of local needs. || An integrated approach is necessary to address the issue of Roma employment.  Further locally focused interventions and tailor-made support are necessary. A combination of training and work experience should be favoured in line with general measures to fight youth unemployment.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements Improving accessibility of Roma to the national healthcare system and to preventive primary healthcare. Improving the health of Roma women and children. Commitment made to ensure adequate housing including good sanitary conditions which are linked with health status. || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, budget and monitoring are needed to secure the efficient implementation of the strategy.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Making use of ERDF for housing interventions. Resettlement of Roma living in illegal settlements. Ensuring minimum satisfactory living conditions. || Concrete measures to provide non-discriminatory access to housing are needed. Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, budget and monitoring are needed to secure the efficient implementation of the strategy.

Structural requirements and funding || The description of challenges under each policy area is rather brief, but accurate and corresponds to the national context. The cooperation with regional and local authorities is foreseen in the future. The necessity for a strong monitoring system was recognized and such a system is currently designed. || Roma civil society should be meaningfully involved in the process of Roma inclusion. Specific attention should be devoted to most disadvantaged regions. Mainstream policies should also cater for the specific needs of the Roma. There is no specific reference to the use of EAFRD or to rural areas. However, opportunities for the Roma population in rural areas could be further enhanced by the Greek Rural Development Programme.

2.9.        Spain

Document sent to the Commission on: || 2 March 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 750 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 725 000, i.e. 1.57% of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Overall accurate depiction (supported by data) of the problems faced by Roma communities which inspire ambitious policies. Goal of increasing the proportion of Roma girls and boys that have attended pre-school prior to their compulsory schooling and increasing school completion of Roma girls and boys in primary education. Reduction of absenteeism in primary education and of early school leavers prior to 16. Increase of completion of compulsory secondary education and increase in academic success of Roma pupils. Reduction of illiteracy. || Difficulties of defining adapted and relevant indicators are acknowledged and addressed as problems to be solved.

Employment || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Improvement of access to normalised employment and reduction of job precariousness among the Roma. Improvement of professional qualifications of Roma. || Employment measures should be reinforced by allocation of funding. Measures targeting in particular young Roma should be a priority.

Health || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Comprehensive strategy for improvement of Roma health and reduction of social inequalities in healthcare through interventions in the adult population and among children. Reorientation of health services to reduce health inequalities. Clear, achievable targets and timelines set up on very concrete situations (i.e. traffic accidents, obesity, smoking etc. with a specific focus on Roma women. Focus on health of Roma immigrants. Comprehensive Action Plan for the development of the Roma population in place with focus on improving health of Roma. || The strategy could be further improved in respect of the financial allocations.

Housing || Clear short and mid terms reachable objectives, mainly on two aspects: eradication of slums and sub-standard housing; improvement of accommodation quality for Roma. || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, budget and monitoring are needed to secure the efficient implementation of the strategy. The use of the structural funds to support the planning and implementation of social housing should be considered.

Structural requirements and funding || Consultation on the strategy has taken place at horizontal level with the relevant Ministries and with autonomous communities, the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, and civil society organisations. Strong political will to further improve collaboration among the various decision-making levels, especially as regards a coordinated effort to make better use of EU Funds. Balance between universal and targeted policies and the reliance on mid- and long-term indicators and goals. Boosting the use of the ERDF in accordance with the possibilities offered by Article 7.2 of its regulations (reconstruction of housing and eradication of segregated settlements). The involvement of social agents and partners (Roma organizations and the Social Third Sector) is foreseen. || The strategy should better identify funding including from structural funds and from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

2.10.      France

Document sent to the Commission on: || 8 February 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || (no estimate)

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 400 000 i.e. 0.21 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Principle of equal and non-discriminatory access to education. Innovative pilot programs to fight against early school drop-out and promote secondary education of disadvantaged pupils. Attempts to respond to the needs of traveller children (coordinator in charge of bringing together the various services, mobile schools, distant learning). || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Travellers and Roma is necessary. Actions in early childhood education could be intensified using also experiences from pilot programs. Better integration of the regular school system with distance learning could improve the effectiveness of the measures.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Fight against long-term unemployment in the scope of general measures, not targeted at the Roma. Support to Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique in order to develop its action on microcredit to Travellers. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Travellers and Roma is necessary.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Support to NGOs working at local level on mediation and raising awareness programmes. Regional programme giving access to health care (including the preventive healthcare) for disadvantage groups, targeting women and children in particular. ||  Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Travellers and Roma is necessary. Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget is needed to secure the efficient implementation of the strategy.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Presented measures are building on existing solid legal basis (Droit au Logement Opposable, Law of 31 May 2011, Law of 5 July 2000, etc.). Specific measures addressed the needs of travellers but no real national strategy concerning migrant Roma (mainly local initiatives). Acknowledgement that an integrated approach is needed. Strong mobilisation of local actors. || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget is needed to secure the implementation of the strategy. Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Travellers and Roma is necessary.

Structural requirements and funding || Consultation of civil society and local authorities via the Conseil National des politiques de lutte contre la pauvreté et l'exclusion sociale and the Commission Nationale Consultative des Gens du Voyage. Reinforcement of fundamental rights (fighting human trafficking, combating discrimination) is taken into consideration within an individual chapter. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Travellers and Roma requires a robust monitoring. Stronger cooperation with the local actors and the civil society is recommended.

2.11.      Italy

Document sent to the Commission on: || 29 February 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 130 000 – 150 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 140 000 i.e. 0.23% of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Goal to ensure education to all Roma children, promote non-discriminatory access to education and tackle early school leaving of Roma. Incentive (e.g. scholarships) to improve participation of Roma in higher education. Support to cooperation between educational institutions, extra-school services and Roma communities and families. Some measures focused on the education of young mothers (completion of compulsory education). || The goals are ambitious and realistic. The proposed measures should be reinforced with precise quantitative targets and identification of the necessary resources.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Non-discriminatory access to training courses. Develop the micro-credit actions through the use of ESF. Monitor the situation of the undeclared work. Reinforce the efficiency of the local Public Employment Services. Promotion of the self-employment. Support the transition from school to work helping directly Roma families, promote active labour policies to include Roma women in the labour market. || The proposed measures are lacking precise quantitative targets and quantification of necessary resources. The lack of figures and indicators will make it difficult to monitor.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Reinforcement of existing projects aimed to monitor the health situation of Roma. A vaccination campaign will be developed for Roma families. Further and stronger health monitoring for women. Inclusion of qualified Roma in social services and medical programmes. || The proposed measures should be reinforced by precise quantitative targets, quantification of necessary resources and setting up concrete timeframes.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Development of local policies to provide safe housing to Roma communities, build new accommodations for disadvantaged groups, promote micro-credit, monitor social housing measures, etc. The financial framework presented is based on EU structural funds and resources provided at national, regional and local level. Clear and strong position against the "system of camps" (recognised as an unsuitable arrangement in terms of desegregation and social exclusion). || The quantification of financial resources is difficult to determine as there are no quantitative targets for future actions.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy shows efforts to solve the legal status of Roma from the Balkans and to recognise Roma, Sinti and Caminanti as ethnic minorities. Pilot projects have been ongoing in 2012-2013 in some key regions to test the whole new governance system in view of replicating/adapting it in 2014-2020 to other regions. National representatives of Roma communities, the national conference of regions, the national associations of sub-regional authorities (i.e. provinces and municipalities) and a number of relevant ministries participated in the preparation of the strategy. Actions are planned to experiment models of stronger participation of Roma to decision-making processes. || Identification of quantitative targets, indicators, and funding should be further developed. This process is left to working groups that should develop these aspects in 2012-2013. A robust monitoring and evaluation methodology would further improve the strategy.

2.12.      Cyprus

Document sent to the Commission on: || 25 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 650 - 700 (government controlled area)

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 1 250 i.e. 0.16% of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Free and accessible education to all. Compulsory primary and secondary education, provided free of charge by the Government. Additional funding for schools in Zones of Educational Priority. Bilingual teachers to facilitate communication between teachers, pupils and parents. Breakfast and lunch provided to all pupils in need. || The impact of policies should be monitored.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Free access to the labour market, equal to that of all Cypriot citizens and support by the Public Employment Services in finding employment. Promotion of educational language programmes for non-Greek speaking adults by the Ministry of Education & Culture and by multifunctional centres operated by the Municipalities of Limassol and Nicosia. || The impact of policies should be monitored.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Access to public healthcare provided to all, regardless their residence or legal status, and guaranteed by law. Reduced fees of free healthcare provided for disadvantaged groups (based on criteria such as family income, employment status and residential status). || The impact of policies should be monitored.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Repairs/improvements to 20 Turkish-Cypriot houses inhabited by Roma in Limassol district and to 25 Turkish-Cypriot houses in Paphos district. Two housing projects for Cypriot Roma (16 and 24 prefabricated housing units). ||

Structural requirements and funding || Involvement to some extent of local authorities, professionals (e.g. teachers) and civil society organisations. || More attention should be paid to involving all stakeholders.

2.13.      Latvia

Document sent to the Commission on: || 14 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 8 517 Roma people in July 2011

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 14 500 i.e. 0.65 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: The policy document sets the goal for “an effective system in place for the inclusion of Roma children in general education schools" by 2018. Combination of mainstreamed and targeted measures. Roma mediators. Teacher support. Education seminars for Roma families. Exchanges of good practice. Good description of the situation of Roma people. || More attention to early childhood education, and adult education would have been relevant. Data used in the strategy should be updated.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Emphasis on research in order to support evidence-based policies. Promotion of dialogue between Roma, NGOs and employers. Support for groups at risk of social exclusion. || The local and regional authorities should be involved. Measures should be foreseen to facilitate registered self-employment of the Roma. Data used in the strategy should be updated.

Health || Research foreseen in order to collect data to support evidence-based policies. || Data used in the strategy should be updated.   Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Presentation of information on the basis of various sources on the housing situation of Roma people. Forthcoming study on the socio-economic situation of Roma people in Latvia, followed by a foreseen reflection on the need to amend the existing legislation regulating housing assistance to Roma people. Foreseen training within the local authorities dealing with Roma people on housing issues. || The involvement of local authorities should be strengthened, in particular in relation to social housing. Data used in the strategy should be updated

Structural requirements and funding || Local and regional authorities have been consulted and follow-up activities (seminars, network of regional coordinators) are foreseen to maintain dialogue with stakeholders. Civil society has been consulted and public debates have taken place in the drafting phase. Strengthening the civil society capacity is foreseen. A dynamic monitoring mechanism is planned including a consultative board for the coordination of the implementation and regular reports and surveys. Measures to fight against discrimination and support Roma culture are indicated. || Clearer allocation of funding would further improve the strategy.

2.14.      Lithuania

Document sent to the Commission on: || 21 March 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || (no estimate)

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 3 000 i.e. 0.08 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Non-formal education/cultural activities for Roma children. Educational activities for Roma children in the Roma community centre. Foreseen research in order to get sound picture of the integration of Roma into the educational system. Adult education measures for Roma. Roma mediators. Language and IT courses for Roma. Teacher training and teaching material on Roma history and culture. || There is no plan beyond 2014.  Attention to early childhood education should be addressed.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Disseminate information about active labour market policy measures. Projects supported by EU structural funds assisting Roma getting integrated in the labour market. || There is no plan beyond 2014. As Roma women are recognised as particularly vulnerable, specific attention to them should be paid.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: One event on healthy lifestyle organised in Vilnius. Training for Roma women and girls on hygiene. || There is no specific goal in the health sector and no plan beyond 2014. The specific situation and challenges met by Roma in health are not described, e.g. as regards access to health insurance. Foreseen measures are pilot initiatives only.

Housing || || The situation of Roma in housing is not described although census data are available. The effective access to housing of Roma should be monitored, in order to make sure that their needs are met.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Activities to raise awareness of Roma on their rights and promote tolerance and increase intercultural dialogue. Measures to promote Roma culture (events, Children Day Centres, research on and support of Roma history and folklore). The submitted strategy contains a sound action plan, detailing a calendar and funding (amounts and sources). Quantified indicators to monitor progress on the goals are fixed. The intergovernmental working group established under the Ministry of culture is responsible for monitoring process. Responsibilities of implementation are clearly divided among the relevant ministries and institutions. || Stronger cooperation with the local actors and the civil society is recommended. An integrated approach (also paying attention to the issue of housing) of Roma inclusion is needed. Setting up a robust monitoring system would be necessary.

2.15.      Luxembourg

Document sent to the Commission on: || 14 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || no estimate

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 300 i.e. 0.06 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: The principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination applies. School attendance obligatory for all resident youth, regardless of their nationality, mother tongue, and parents' legal status. Projects aimed at providing assistance and support to children newly arrived in Luxembourg and not speaking any of the official languages of this Member State. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Employment || Equal access to employment is guaranteed in compliance with EU and constitutional law. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Health || Equal access to the social protection system is guaranteed for all persons legally resident on the national territory. A high level of health protection and mandatory health and maternity insurance system is in place. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Housing || Local authorities provide, as far as possible, housing for all persons legally residing within their territory. Financial incentives in this respect provided. ||

Structural requirements and funding || A special body (Comité pour l'élimination de la discrimination raciale CERD) gathering independent experts has been set to supervise the implementation of the international convention on elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. ||

2.16.      Hungary

Document sent to the Commission on: || 6 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 750 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 700 000 i.e. 7.05 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Compulsory pre-school participation from 3 years of age. After-school programmes. Second chance schools. Mediators. School meals. || More focus on desegregation, integrated education and ensuring that mainstream policies also respond to the specific needs of Roma could further improve this part of the strategy.

Employment || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: A very clear vision on raising employment in a systematic way, based on 3 pillars (integration into open and legal labour market; through active labour market policies; social economy; and public employment schemes for the most disadvantaged). Specific attention to job creation in rural areas, mainly in the agricultural sector. || More focus on reintegration to the open labour market, developing more concrete measures in the area of social economy, self-employment /microfinance and vocational training would be needed. Clear share of tasks and responsibilities among service providers and targeted services for Roma job-seekers via the public employment service could improve results. Possibilities of job creation in rural areas in sectors other than agriculture could also be considered.

Health || The sound strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Strong analytical part in the area of health. Acknowledgement of the need to target Roma women and children specifically. Active involvement of civil society and Roma representative foreseen in implementation of the strategy. Focus on geographically deprived areas (micro-regions) covering also non-Roma population living under the similar conditions as Roma. Training programmes for healthcare and social service workforce Measures to tackle unhealthy lifestyles. || Developing measurable targets and more specific measures to tackle problems identified would be necessary. A clearer timeline for implementation, reinforcing the budget would make measures more efficient.

Housing || It is particularly positive that a complex programme is in place for those living in segregated environment, conceived within an integrated approach. || More attention should be paid to social housing.

Structural requirements and funding || Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders (Roma and civil society representatives, academics, local and regional authorities) took place when drafting the strategy. A territorial attention is paid to the situation of Roma and some meetings of consultation have taken place within the regions. Specific attention is paid to the situation of children as well as to raising awareness on discrimination. EU resources are quantified and listed for the planned measures targeting disadvantaged people. The strategy makes reference to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), without mentioning any amount. || The strategy would be even more precise if a detailed description of the monitoring and evaluation system was added. The sustainability of EU funded measures and the need to mobilise national resources requires further attention.

2.17.      Malta

Document sent to the Commission on: || 14 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || No Roma population

|| Council of Europe estimates || 0

Approach || No national strategy adopted

Malta did not adopt a national Roma integration strategy as there is no Roma population on its territory.

2.18.      Netherlands

Document sent to the Commission on: || 21 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 20 000 - 40 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || Approximately 40 000 i.e. 0.24% of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Goal of increasing the overall participation of Roma in the education system, and in particular ensure that all young Roma finishes school. Decentralised implementation (at the level of municipalities). Creation of a specific platform gathering interested local authorities that have important Roma communities, in order to work on how to increase school attendance among Roma children. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Employment || Individual support is provided to jobseekers. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Health || There is a comprehensive legislation relating to non discriminatory access to healthcare in place. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Housing || Everyone with a low income who resides legally in the Netherlands, including Roma, is eligible for social housing. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Structural requirements and funding || The primary responsibility for dealing with the problems of the local Roma population lies with municipalities. Municipalities are encouraged to make effective use of existing measures to deal with problems within certain segments of local Roma communities. For the preparation of the document, the Roma Platform of Municipalities has been consulted. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

2.19.      Austria

Document sent to the Commission on: || 16 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 50 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 25 000 i.e. 0.3 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Within a broad education strategy, some innovative, tailor-made measures for Roma pupils are supported at local level. These include projects on Roma school assistants providing learning support for children and mediation, developed by Roma associations. Counselling and training adults so as to enhance their employability. || More measures taking into account the specificities of the different Roma groups are needed.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Diversity management within the Public Employment Service (including PES staff with migration background and training of staff). Within a general approach to labour market inclusion offering support to all job-seekers, some instruments for disadvantaged people and/or people with a migration background. The advice centre for Roma in Burgenland and projects providing intercultural coaching and training for Roma ("THARA" projects). || The approach should reach out to all Roma. Scaling up the current successful initiatives should be considered.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Accessible and affordable healthcare for all. Health insurance coverage extended to recipients of social assistance. Efforts to overcome language barriers in health care. Regional project on free access to psychotherapy to Roma victims of the holocaust and their descendants. || Scaling up initiatives, detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Relatively well developed social housing (in particular in Vienna). Projects against discrimination on the housing market. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Structural requirements and funding || The intention is declared to involve civil society organisations in the evaluation, further development and implementation of the measures. A discussion platform with stakeholders will be created. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary. A clear indication of the funding is also indispensable.

2.20.      Poland

Document sent to the Commission on: || 30 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 12 731

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 12 731 i.e. 0.10 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Focus on pre-school education. Roma teacher assistants and mediators. Funding children's transport to/from school. Funding meals at school. Compilation of textbooks and programmes of teaching the Romani language. || Focusing on desegregation and ensuring that other challenges like vocational education, learning of Polish language and gender issues should be adequately addressed.  

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Active labour market policy measures. Employment advisors providing assistance in the labour market, supporting entrepreneurship, subsidised jobs, vocational training. || Clearer measures to improve the public employment service, including accessible and targeted services for Roma job-seekers could improve results. Microfinance projects could enhance entrepreneurship.

Health || Specialised nurses are trained to better address Roma health needs. || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Providing help for paying rent arrears; refurbishment of existing apartments and buildings; constructing of social flats, regulating the issue of land's property and its use, connecting houses with water supply and sewage systems. || The strategy could be further improved by concrete measures to provide non-discriminatory access to housing and more attention paid to an integrated approach.

Structural requirements and funding || The programme covers eight areas, including education, welfare (in fact housing), health and labour, but also culture and identity, civil society, security, and knowledge of the Roma community. || The sustainability of EU funded measures requires further attention. Specific attention should be devoted to applying an integrated approach. Involvement of local authorities in the implementation should be strengthened.

2.21.      Portugal

Document sent to the Commission on: || 2 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || Approximately 40 000 - 60 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 40 000 - 70 000, i.e. 0.52% of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Improving knowledge of the school situation of Roma students and trainees at school. Ensuring access to pre-school education; Increasing rates of school attendance, ensuring that all Roma children complete compulsory education. Encouraging students to stay on at secondary school, by providing incentives to higher education and training. Preventing early school leaving; Ensuring access to lifelong learning; Combating illiteracy. || More focus on desegregation and ensuring that mainstream policies also respond to the specific needs of Roma could further improve this part of the strategy.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Training staff and tailoring training provision to the specific characteristics of Roma communities. Facilitating access to employment and creation of self-employment. Improve vocational qualifications with a view to integration in the labour market. Developing an integrated approach to Roma communities, giving priority to working in partnership. || More attention should be dedicated to recent economic and social transformations and its implications.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Organising training/information actions on health education and available services. Preventive measures. Training health professionals in, and improving their awareness of, cultural diversity. Creating and/or strengthening close relations between health service providers and Roma communities. || Further work could be considered on monitoring progress in the implementation of the actions proposed and in health outcomes.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Development of a knowledge base on the housing conditions of Roma communities. Development of integration practices of Roma communities. Measures aimed at improving the housing conditions and access to housing. || The strategy could be further improved by concrete measures to provide non-discriminatory access to housing.

Structural requirements and funding || Roma communities participated in the preparation of the strategy and it is acknowledged that they should be more involved in its implementation. The strategy foresees the creation of a consultative body which will be responsible for the monitoring of the strategy. || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

2.22.      Romania

Document sent to the Commission on: || 16 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 730 000 - 970 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 1 850 000 i.e. 8.32 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Stimulation of the participation of Roma children in early childhood education and care, training of school mediators, training and hiring Romani language teachers. Dedicated places in high schools and universities for Roma students. Network of school inspectors belonging to the Roma community. Clear inclusive approach, explicitly fighting against school segregation. || The strategy does not cover completion of primary school by all Roma children. The strategy does not identify clear targets on the educational attainment of Roma and is not founded on an adequate evidence base. A clear link with general programmes targeting disadvantaged groups and educational infrastructure would be necessary. The integration into the labour market of the trained school mediators should be supported.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Target to increase the number of Roma employees by 60 000, and the number of Roma female employees by 25 000. Promoting entrepreneurship among the Roma people. Stimulating agricultural activities and traditional crafts. Providing incentives to SMEs (infrastructure investments, loans, Roma employment subsidies). || The target is not commensurate with the size of unemployment. More attention is needed to the reduction of unemployment, in particular in the case of women and youth, as well as to increasing the skills of the Roma population and to promoting transition from undeclared to regular and from short to long-term employment. Social economy structures should also be addressed. The problems of rural areas and disadvantaged micro-regions and segregated neighbourhoods should be addressed specifically. Possibilities of job creation in rural areas including sectors other than agriculture should be considered.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Identification of key challenges (e.g. lack of medical staff in rural areas, and lack of health insurance among Roma). Target of increased access of Roma to public healthcare services and specific target on increasing the number of Roma health mediators. Health education campaigns in the field of prevention of tuberculosis in Roma communities. Vaccination campaigns for Roma children. || The proposed actions are welcome but insufficient in size and scope. The gap in access to health care and health outcomes affecting Roma should be addressed more effectively. Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation. The strategy would benefit from developing concrete measures to increase the health insurance coverage. Registration with local authorities is necessary.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: A number of combined programmes: social housing construction programme; social housing for Roma communities programme; social housing for tenant programme, etc. Regional development infrastructure project for 10 000 km of local and regional roads. || The strategy does not appropriately address access to (social) housing. Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.  The strategy could be improved by identifying areas with extremely poor communities and defining targeted measures to address the specificities of the situations.

Structural requirements and funding || Limited dialog with the local and regional authorities during the preparation of the Strategy and Action Plan. The civil society was formally consulted on the preparation of the Strategy. Specific attention is paid to the situation of children as well as to raising awareness on discrimination. Reference to European funding, as far as agriculture and rural development is concerned, without mentioning any amount. || The strategy does not reflect an integrated approach. The strategy would benefit from a clear prioritisation, a closer link between general and specific objectives, directions for actions and actual measures proposed, detailed description of clear targets, responsibilities, budget allocations, as well as of a robust monitoring and evaluation system. In the light of the considerable reliance on Structural Funds to support projects addressing the identified priorities, a significant improvement of the absorption capacity should be a priority. Closer involvement of the regional and local authorities and of Roma civil society in the implementation and monitoring phase should further improve the strategy. Effective coordination of implementation must be ensured.

2.23.      Slovenia

Document sent to the Commission on: || 30 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 7 000 - 10 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 8 500 i.e. 0.42 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Early childhood education measures. Developing confidence in education. Learning about Roma culture, eliminating prejudices. Raising the quality of education providers to Roma children, (support measures such as free lunches, textbooks, and school buses). Establishment of a support for learning network, in particular for Roma pupils in secondary education. || The implementation timeframe could have been more detailed.

|| ||

Employment || A range of employment policy measures specifically targeted to Roma are defined aiming to increase their employability, with due consideration to the gender aspect. || The proposed measures could be more concrete.

|| ||

Health || Measures aiming to improving health of the Roma, especially women and children. A pilot project in a region with more developed healthcare provision for the Roma. || More developed specific measures are needed with expected outcomes and mechanisms to monitor progress.

Housing || Legalisation of settlements as the legal condition for the construction of basic infrastructure. || Discrimination in renting/buying property and in access to public amenities in urban areas should be addressed.

Structural requirements and funding || Local authorities were fully involved in the preparation of the strategy. It is foreseen that they also play a role in the implementation of parts of it. The civil society was involved in the preparation of the strategy and it is foreseen that they play a role in the implementation. Representatives of the Roma community also participated in the preparation of the strategy. The implementation of the strategy will be monitored by a Commission composed of all relevant stakeholders in addition to civil servants. || The funding for specific measures in the programme is not always clearly specified.

2.24.      Slovakia

Document sent to the Commission on: || 11 January 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 440 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 500 000 i.e. 9.17 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Increasing pre-school participation of Roma children from 3 years of age. Increasing inclusiveness of the educational system and effectiveness of the social support system. Eliminating barriers in the transition to high schools; linking secondary education with the labour market's needs. Increasing the number of teachers and specialists fluent in Romani language. || More focus on desegregation, second chance education and ensuring that mainstream policies also respond to the specific needs of Roma could further improve this part of the strategy. Measures to develop local policies preventing 'non-Roma children flight' from schools attended by many Roma pupils would be needed. Compulsory pre-school education, offering increased financial support to high school and tertiary school students should be examined.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Supporting "second-chance" education and increasing training opportunities. Motivating public and private employers to adopt a culture of offering job opportunities to the marginalised and socially excluded. Improving non-discriminatory access to work opportunities. || High inactivity, long-term unemployment and low skill levels should be addressed by more specific measures and supported by adequate budgets. Ineffectiveness of current Active Labour Market Policy and public work creation should be also addressed with increased focus on effective integration to the open labour market. Public Employment Services providing accessible and targeted services for Roma job-seekers could improve results. Non-discriminatory access to the labour market, policies involving the majority population, schools, social partners, and media, to fight prejudice are necessary. Strengthening territorial aspects of policy making with focus on most disadvantaged regions should be considered. Possibilities of job creation in rural areas in sectors other than agriculture and forestry, e. g. traditional crafts and micro businesses should also be considered.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Improving accessibility of healthcare including preventive healthcare and health education. Improving hygiene in deprived Roma settlements. Considering resettlement, should the residents of such locations be under health risks. Improving the communication between the members of Roma communities and the medical personnel, focus on health education, awareness raising on sexual and reproductive health, drug addiction, and domestic violence in marginalised Roma communities. || A quantitative assessment of the health situation of Roma, greater focus on children and the role of the Roma health mediators would strengthen the strategy. Clear actions, responsibilities and budget need to be defined. Further work is needed to monitor progress and health outcomes. .

Housing || The strategy envisages to the use EU funds (especially ERDF in the area of housing). || Concrete, more ambitious and integrated measures to provide non-discriminatory access to housing are necessary. The link between the goals and the process to reach them needs to be strengthened. The issue of eligibility for housing support for people with temporary residence in shelters or in undocumented dwellings should be addressed.

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy provides an accurate description of the Roma situation. A holistic approach is followed. Emphasis is put on cooperation with Roma civil society and local and regional authorities. An important aspect is the recognition of the need to work with the majority population to tackle widespread prejudices/stereotypes. The strategy also covers the area of Roma financial inclusion. The overall budget allocation is quantified (€141m) for the period 2011-2015. However, individual measures in the action plan do not always specify budget implications. The Slovak strategy plans to use ERDF for housing. The strategy makes reference to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), without mentioning any amount. || The sustainability of EU funded measures requires further attention. Funding is not always properly quantified and appears to be insufficient. It would be useful to draw lessons from the past concerning the implementation of projects financed by structural funds. It will be also important to align Operational Programmes for the programming period 2014-2020 with the strategy. The commitment to a strong involvement of civil society and local authorities in planning and implementation should be ensured.

2.25.      Finland

Document sent to the Commission on: || 12 December 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 10-12 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 11 000 i.e. 0.21 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Enhancing participation of Roma children in early childhood education. Development of cooperation and supporting parenting skills. Support transition stages in education. Enhancing the education of Roma adults and the promotion of their access to the labour market. ||

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Enhancing the integration of Roma into labour market through more efficient public employment services. Development of new forms of employment for Roma and enhancing their entrepreneurship activities. Raising awareness of the Roma people of working life practices and provision of more information to employers on the prevention of discrimination against Roma and the elimination of prejudices. ||

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Specific actions are multi-sectoral and adequate to meet the goals if properly implemented. They are mostly targeted at accessibility to and provision of social and health services as well as housing conditions with specific actions targeted to Roma children and the elderly. The strategy foresees to carry out an extensive survey with the purpose of acquiring data on welfare, health and living conditions of Roma population as well as their need for health services. Prevention of marginalisation and promotion of social welfare and healthcare. Provision of information to Roma on healthcare and social services. ||

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Equal treatment in housing and reducing insecurity. Promotion of cross administrative cooperation at municipal level. Promotion of good local governance in solving the housing-related problems of individual Roma families. ||

Structural requirements and funding || Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including Roma took place when drafting the strategy. Regional and local authorities as well as Roma are also given a very active role in the implementation of the strategy. Responsibilities of implementation are clearly divided among the relevant ministries. A detailed monitoring and steering plan is put in place until 2013. || Effective monitoring will depend on the capacity to develop its horizontal dimension. Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

2.26.      Sweden

Document sent to the Commission on: || 25 February 2012

Roma population || Estimate in the document || approximately 50 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 42 500 i.e. 0.46 % of the population

Approach || National strategy

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Pilot project in a number of localities in 2012-2015, with the involvement of the National Agency for Education and of the Schools Inspectorate. Development of knowledge and data on the situation of Roma in education. Training of school mediators. Information campaigns targeting local authorities. Producing teaching materials in Romani Chib language. || Developing funding and timeframe for the implementation would be needed.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Focus on the systematic actions and pilot projects run by the Public Employment Office and municipalities to improve the foothold of the Roma youth on the labour market. The possibility to introduce special mentors or "bridge builders" shall be analysed (as part of the pilot projects). The Public Employment Services (PES) is given the task to distribute information to the Roma and to make sure that the Roma receive the help they need (as part of the pilot projects). || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people would be useful. It would be pertinent to refer more to policies and measures in employment for vulnerable groups, from which the Roma can also benefit.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: A number of measures to get better understanding of the health situation of Roma. Roma mediators in municipalities (pilot projects). Focus on health of Roma women. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Prevention of discrimination of the Roma on the housing market. The Government intends to give the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) the task to report on the housing situation of the Roma in order to better understand the housing situation of the Roma and to be able to achieve the target of equal housing. || Measuring the impact of the equal treatment approach on the situation of Roma people is necessary.

|| ||

Structural requirements and funding || The strategy builds on the results of the work of a Roma delegation and subsequent public consultation. The 20-year strategy covers all 4 key areas, as well as culture/language and the empowerment of civil society. Local and regional authorities were involved in preparing the strategy and will have extensive responsibility in the implementation. Funding is secured from national budget. The Swedish Government will report yearly on progress in the annual budget bills to the Parliament. Evaluation of the implementation is foreseen after 5 years. || The lack of available data is a challenge to be addressed. EU funding could be used in a more extensive manner for supporting Roma inclusion.

2.27.      United Kingdom

Document sent to the Commission on: || 11 January 2011

Roma population || Estimate in the document || 80 000-300 000

|| Council of Europe estimates || approximately 225 000 i.e. 0.37 % of the population

Approach || Integrated set of policy measures

|| KEY ELEMENTS || IDENTIFIED GAPS

Education || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Tailored support provided by local authorities to meet Roma and Travellers children educational needs (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Increasing accessibility, attendance through an "Action Framework on the education of children and young people from the Traveller community"(Northern Ireland). Raising educational aspirations and attainment of Roma and Traveller children (England). Free entitlement to early childhood education to around 40% of two-year olds by September 2014 (England). Reform of higher education aiming at widening access including from low income and other under-represented groups as well as scholarship to the least well-off students (England). || A lifelong learning approach, with focus on early childhood education (reference only made by England) and vocational training would have been relevant. An identification of quantifiable targets and budget allocation would be needed.

Employment || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Promoting entrepreneurship in schools in disadvantaged communities. Supporting English language provision for those who are not in employment and are unable to afford fees. Addressing the individual needs of people seeking work. Promoting social mobility through dialogue with businesses (England). || Employment is only mentioned regarding England. There is no identification of funding supporting the measures proposed.

Health || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Improving understanding and better responding to the needs of Roma and Travellers (Scotland). Improving the actions targeted at Travellers' health and well-being (Northern Ireland). Eliminating discriminatory practices and negative perceptions of Roma and Travellers, raising awareness of the health needs of Roma and Traveller communities and improving access to health services (Wales). Improving health outcomes for Roma and Travellers (England). || Monitoring and budget allocations are needed to secure the effective implementation.

Housing || The strategy includes in particular the following positive elements: Consideration to the housing needs of Roma and Travellers in planning and local authority provision of accommodation (Scotland). Land identification for sites and site provision for the Traveller population (Northern Ireland). Integrated approach when building the new sites (Wales). Encouraging appropriate site provision; building on £60 million Traveller Pitch Funding and New Homes Bonus incentives (England). || Detailing a calendar, targets, indicators, and budget are needed to secure the effective implementation.

Structural requirements and funding || The role of the local level is crucial in taking the lead for the integration of Roma and Travellers. A wide range of stakeholders (Roma and Travellers, local authorities etc.) have been involved in drafting the UK strategies. The fight against discrimination and empowering Roma and Travellers is a key aspect of all UK strategies. || The strategy would be even more precise if a detailed description of the timeframe, monitoring and evaluation system was added.

[1]               The term “Roma” is used here, as well as by a number of international organisations and representatives of Roma groups in Europe, to refer to a number of different groups (such as Roma, Sinti, Kale, Gypsies, Romanichels, Boyash, Ashkali, Egyptians, Yenish, Dom, Lom) and also includes Travellers, without denying the specificities and varieties of lifestyles and situations of these groups.

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