There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to local inclusion but four key elements can boost the chances of success, finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest report.
“Roma are subject to persistent discrimination, marginalisation and are shunned by society,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “To break the cycle of poverty borne out of such exclusion, Roma need to be fully involved and fully engaged in any integration efforts that target them.”
The Working with Roma: Participation and empowerment of local communities report draws on lessons learnt from Roma participation in local integration activities in 21 places across 11 Member States. They covered such activities as local housing, education and employment.
Looking across all activities, four key success factors emerge:
The report also contains lessons for future projects and policies. These include granting enough time for the four keys to work and situating local integration efforts in wider social inclusion projects to ensure sustainability. It also underlines the importance of being flexible and adapting to specific local needs when designing and running projects.
The report stemmed from FRA’s research on the barriers to and drivers for successful investment in Roma inclusion. This was needed in order to develop and monitor the implementation of measures related to national and European policies for Roma inclusion.