Roma pilot survey

In 2010 the European Commission set up an internal Roma Task Force, in which the FRA participates, to assess how EU funds are used for Roma integration and identify ways to improve the funds’ effectiveness. One of the major issues identified by the Task Force, and also highlighted in previous reports by the EU and other international organisations, was the paucity of data concerning the socio-economic situation of Roma across the EU.

Survey research conducted by the FRA in the past had focused on issues of discrimination and rights awareness in seven EU Member States, while past survey work by the UNDP and the World Bank had focused on socio-economic conditions in central and eastern European Member States and other countries. Furthermore, past surveys had surveyed only Roma populations and could therefore not measure differences to non Roma leaving nearby under similar conditions.

In order to collect comparable and robust data on the socio-economic situation of Roma the European Commission’s DG Regional Policy provided funds from technical assistance for a survey of marginalised Roma in the EU and beyond building on the technical expertise of the UNDP and the World Bank. In parallel, the FRA used its own funds to pilot a survey in EU Member States, where Roma populations had not been surveyed, such as Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, as well as in the central and eastern EU Member States. The four organisations combined their efforts and worked together in close cooperation. The first findings were published in May 2012 accompanying the European Commission’s Communication on National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework. Survey data will continue to be analysed and more reports covering the different thematic areas are planned for 2013. In parallel, the UNDP has also conducted analyses and published results and data on specific countries.

The FRA’s survey was carried out in eleven EU Member States interviewing face-to-face a randomly selected sample of Roma and non-Roma living near-by on a range of topics from living conditions and education levels to migration and experiences of discrimination. Across the 11 EU Member States, the two surveys interviewed a total of 22,203 Roma and non-Roma providing information on 84,287 household members.

The results are now available through FRA’s Roma data visualisation tool >>