The results are shocking in many respects: of those surveyed in this report, one in three is unemployed, 20 % are not covered by health insurance, and 90 % are living below national poverty lines. Although governments and societies have been aware of Roma exclusion and deprivation, the magnitude and the similarity of exclusion patterns across EU Member States is striking and leaves no excuse for delaying swift, effective action to improve the situation.
This report is only a first step in addressing the severe lack of data on the socio-economic situation of Roma in the EU and the fulfilment of their rights. The evidence shows that the nature of the challenges many Roma are facing in the EU requires policy responses which articulate development efforts within a rights-based approach. Such policy responses must tackle the socio-economic barriers that Roma face while also ensuring that their fundamental rights are respected.