The Romani flag
The Romani flag
For more than a thousand years, Roma people have been an integral part of European civilisation. Today, with an estimated population of 10-12 million in Europe, approximately six million of whom live in the EU, Roma people are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe.

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.
Multi-Annual Roma Programme (2012-2020)

Multi-Annual Roma Programme (2012-2020)

In 2011, FRA was asked by the European Commission to increase its research activities on Roma issues, thereby contributing to the newly created Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). The Agency was requested to expand its data collection on Roma to all EU Member States, conduct regular surveys to measure the progress of integration policies, and work with Member States to develop monitoring methods able to compare the situation of Roma across Europe.

In response to the Commission’s request, FRA developed a comprehensive multi-annual programme that focuses on key issues related to Roma integration. Targets set by the Europe 2020 strategy on inclusive economic growth and by the European platform against poverty and social exclusion are also addressed.

The objective of the Roma Programme is to help Member States implement the EU’s Roma integration framework. FRA does this by providing robust, comparable data and insight into the situation of Roma communities, as well as the impact of efforts at improving their situation. The Agency focuses on four priority areas – employment, education, housing and health – from a human rights perspective. Particular attention is paid to fundamental rights issues such as discrimination, anti-gypsyism and related hate crime, as well as issues of citizenship and rights awareness.

FRA collects three types of data for the Roma Programme:

  • primary statistical data derived from surveying random samples of the target populations
  • primary qualitative data derived from local-level participatory action research
  • secondary official data sources and non-official data on Roma

More information about the programme’s implementation is available on the multi-annual Roma Programme project page.



Roma survey data explorer

Explore Roma survey results online >> 

Interactive tool allows users to visualise survey results on maps, compare results graphically between countries or browse results by topic.

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Findings available

Multi-Annual Roma Programme

Despite efforts at the national, European and international level to improve the social and economic integration of Roma in the European Union, many still face deep poverty, profound social exclusion, and discrimination, which often means limited access to quality education, jobs and services, low income levels, sub-standard housing conditions, poor health and lower life expectancy. These problems also present often insurmountable barriers to exercising their fundamental rights.
Findings available

Housing conditions of Roma and travellers in the EU

The objective of the project was to study the housing situation of Roma and Travellers across the EU, highlighting significant initiatives that improve their living conditions.

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Fundamental rights: key legal and policy developments in 2013. Highlights 2013

Annual report
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by assuming new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast, unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2013 - Annual report 2013

Annual report
This year’s FRA annual report looks at fundamental rights-related developments in asylum, immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society, respect for private life and data protection; the rights of the child and the protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; access to justice and judicial cooperation; rights of crime victims; EU Member States and international obligations.