Poverty and employment: the situation of Roma in 11 EU Member States

This report presents the results of the European Union Agency’s for Fundamental Rights (FRA) 2011 Roma survey on poverty and employment, which show, for example, that although most Roma are actively seeking a job, only about a third of those surveyed has paid work, which is often precarious and informal. It reveals multiple challenges:very low employment rates were observed, in particular for young Roma.

Equal and full access to employment serves as a major vehicle of social inclusion, one that can improve living conditions and enable people, such as the European Union’s (EU) largest ethnic minority, Roma, to successfully tackle the challenges of poverty.

The EU has targeted employment and poverty reduction in its 2020 growth strategy, which mentions Roma explicitly though not exclusively. The Council of the European Union adopted a recommendation in December 2013, specifically suggesting that Member States ensure the equal treatment of Roma in accessing the labour market and to employment opportunities. Concerted efforts are needed to break through the cycle of disadvantage.

FRA aims to contribute to these efforts by testing novel approaches to local engagement, including in employment, at local level and by delivering evidence of the changes taking place on the ground.