Survey reveals extent of discrimination, under-reporting and sense of resignation

Of all the groups surveyed by the FRA, the Roma emerged as the group most vulnerable to discrimination and crime. The FRA has therefore analysed their situation in a ‘data in focus' report, the first in a series of reports on minority groups and issues covered by the survey.

The report on the Roma reveals a bleak picture for the estimated 12 million Roma in the EU. Roma reported the highest overall levels of discrimination across all areas surveyed. 66-92% of Roma (depending on the country) did not report their most recent experience of discrimination to any competent authority. 65-100% of the Roma respondents reported lack of confidence in law enforcement and justice structures.

What can policy-makers do?

  • While legal instruments to combat discrimination and exclusion do exist, there is a need for wider knowledge of measures to address discrimination and social exclusion of the Roma. This should include educational programmes to increase confidence and rights awareness amongst Roma youth.
  • European Structural Funds and pre-accession funds could be specifically allocated to support Roma inclusion, thus encouraging governments to deal with the issue of Roma discrimination and social inclusion in a comprehensive manner.
  • Raise awareness to prevent discrimination amongst private service providers, as well as sanctions against private services that discriminate against Roma.
  • Politicians and other public figures need to speak out and lead by example on human rights protection.


EU-MIDIS is the first ever EU-wide survey of immigrant and ethnic minority groups' experiences of discrimination and victimisation in everyday life. Addressing the lack of reliable and comparable data on minorities in many EU countries, the survey examines experiences of discriminatory treatment, racist crime victimisation, awareness of rights, and reporting of complaints. EU-MIDIS involved face-to-face interviews with 23,500 persons from selected immigrant and ethnic minority groups in all 27 Member States of the European Union. 5,000 persons from the majority population were also interviewed to compare the results.