Roma are among the people who are most vulnerable to human rights violations in the European Union (EU). The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has consistently demonstrated this using robust statistical data since 2008. The results of FRA’s surveys in 2008, 2011, 2016 and 2019 show that the EU’s and Member States’ efforts result in limited and uneven progress. The surveys show the persisting impact of antigypsyism and the problems many Roma and Travellers face in enjoying their fundamental rights regarding employment, education, healthcare and housing.
The Roma Survey 2021 provides comparable data on the actual impact of EU and national anti-discrimination, anti-racism and equality legislation policies (including polices on reducing poverty and on social inclusion). For some countries, the data allow analysis of trends over time.
In this report:
EU institutions have long underlined the need to ensure that Roma – the largest European ethnic minority – are treated equally with respect to their fundamental rights as enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. They have also provided guidance and funding to EU Member States to achieve this.
The EU’s Roma strategic framework has set clear targets on Roma inclusion and equality Member States have to achieve by 2030. It calls on FRA to provide data and background information on progress towards Roma inclusion in EU Member States. This survey provides comparable data on the actual impact of EU and national anti-discrimination, anti-racism and equality legislation policies.
The survey covered Roma aged 16 or older who live in Croatia, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Spain. Information was collected on over 20,000 household members from nearly 8,500 Roma respondents.
All respondents were selected randomly and the survey results are representative for Roma living in the survey countries. The interviews were carried out face-to-face in the country’s official language using standardised survey questions.
Data from Bulgaria and Slovakia came from their national statistical offices, for which the fieldwork took place in the second half of 2020. FRA fieldwork took place from February until August 2021, which was during the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures to control the pandemic may have affected the results. For example, there were fewer job opportunities in this timeframe and schooling suffered from a lack of access to distance learning.
It builds on previous FRA Roma surveys: in 2008, 2011 and 2016 and on Roma and Travellers in 2019.
The survey covers topics such as experiences of discrimination in different areas of life (employment, education, housing, health and other services), criminal victimisation (including hate crime), corruption and experiences with the police, rights awareness, social inclusion and societal participation. It also collects information on income and living conditions.
Countries should use these, and earlier FRA results, to develop and assess more targeted measures in their national Roma strategies. This particularly applies to tackling Roma poverty, discrimination, education and employment.
They should also regularly collect statistical data on Roma to guide their efforts in meeting the EU’s targets. Concrete examples of what could be done include: