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Making use of European Structural and Investment Funds for Roma inclusion. A Guide for local authorities (2014)

Author: TS


Local institutions play a crucial role in the implementation of Roma integration strategies, as they are the ones dealing directly with Roma issues. An effective implementation of a national policy at local level implies specific and concrete measures and active participation of the local institutions and stakeholders at all stages.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) are the EU´s main financial and policy instruments at the disposal of Member States to design and implement policies aimed at enhancing social cohesion and reducing inequalities within the EU. As a consequence, in many countries the ESI Funds are a major opportunity for investing in Roma communities.

The new ESI Funds foresee the active engagement of the local level in the planning and implementation of the Funds as well as specific forms of actions adapted to the local level needs. Local administrations are vital in ensuring that these funds get to the local level, that is, to their beneficiaries, including the Roma population.

The central aim of this guide is to provide guidelines and practical suggestions to local authorities on the use of the Structural Funds for Roma inclusion at the local level. It complements the EURoma guide “Tackling Roma needs in the 2014-2020 Structural Funds programming period. Guide to improve the planning process” by shifting the focus from the national and regional planning processes of Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes to local planning for effective interventions with Roma by using ESI Funds.

In a brief, easy-to-read and practical way, this guide:

  • outlines the increasing relevancy of Roma inclusion in the EU Agenda and explains the existing framework and instruments that can be applied at local level.
  • highlights the problems and challenges of Roma inclusion policies at local level and explains how ESI Funds can be used to implement initiatives that promote Roma inclusion at local level.
  • gives an overview of the advantages and added value of Roma integration policies and provides examples and good practices at local level.
  • analyses existing barriers for municipalities to accessing Structural Funds and gives practical tips on how to overcome them
  • provides useful suggestions on how to get informed, form partnerships and participate in and influence the planning process of ESI Funds.
  • gives concrete recommendations on successful approaches, good practices and lessons learnt from other experiences at local level.
  • presents a concrete example of ways to accessing Structural Funds from the local level.

While the primary target audience of this guide are local administrations, it is also expected to be a tool for Managing Authorities, National Roma Contact Points and other stakeholders to push the on-going process of involvement of the local authorities in the use of the ESI Funds to promote social inclusion and improve living conditions of Roma in situations of exclusion.

The Guide is available in flip version in English and Spanish and in pdf version in English, Croatian and Spanish (other languages will be available soon)

Link to the flip version (EN):

Link to the flip version (ES):



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