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The available evidence suggests that many Roma (which include Travellers, Gypsies, Manouches, Ashkali and Sinti) live in overwhelmingly poor conditions on the margins of society, and face extreme levels of social exclusion. FRA surveys undertaken in 2008 and 2012 also found that prejudice, intolerance and discrimination affect a large proportion of Roma living in the member states, most of whom are EU citizens.
In April 2011, the European Commission issued a Communication on an EU framework for national Roma integration strategies, which asked FRA to contribute to monitoring and assisting EU-wide efforts to implement the EU’s plan for Roma integration.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits any discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic or social origin. The chapters on freedoms and solidarity establish the right to education and access to preventive healthcare and medical treatment. The charter also guarantees respect for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
The FRA currently implements a multiannual Roma programme (2012-2020) with the aim of supporting the EU’s effort to make “a tangible difference to Roma people’s lives.” In this regard the Agency cooperates with governments, EU institutions, the Council of Europe, UN and other international organisations.
Concretely, the FRA
- regularly monitors progress on the ground improving Roma integration in employment, education, healthcare and housing;
- contextualises statistical findings through qualitative, stakeholder-driven research and engagement providing good practice examples on Roma integration issues;
- assists Member States in improving their monitoring of policy outcomes.
- European Platform for Roma Inclusion
- The 10 Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion
- Communication from the Commission: National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework (May 2012)
- Council conclusions on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (May 2011)
- Communication from the Commission: An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (April 2011)
- Communication from the Commission: The social and economic integration of the Roma in Europe (April 2010)