Greater efforts needed to increase Roma participation and combat anti-Gypsyism

On the eve of International Roma Day, FRA calls for stronger efforts to counter anti-Gypsyism and work towards the full participation of Roma in European society.

Research by the Fundamental Rights Agency shows that Roma continue to face intolerable levels of discrimination in their daily lives, whether looking for work, at work, in education, healthcare, when in contact with administrative bodies, or even when entering a shop. According to a recent FRA survey, 41% of Roma felt they had been discriminated against because of their ethnic origin. Tackling the root causes of anti-Gypsyism will require concerted action to foster community development and improve relations between Roma and non-Roma, particularly at the local level.

“We need to go local to meaningfully support Roma inclusion. Local authorities and Roma community members have to work together,” said FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “FRA’s own project on local engagement for Roma inclusion has already confirmed several key points. These include the importance of building trust between communities and local authorities, a need for the meaningful participation of Roma in decisions that affect their lives, and the empowerment of Roma to claim their rights. Last but not least, we must acknowledge past failures in order to better design future efforts.”