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.