Under the recently concluded Spanish Presidency of the EU Council (July-December 2023), a wide range of initiatives of particular relevance to Roma equality and inclusion as well as to EU Funds were developed. These include:


  • Council Conclusions on Measures to ensure equal access for Roma to adequate and desegregated housing, and to address segregated settlements, which, among others, invites Member States to take concrete measures to improve the housing situation of Roma and to eradicate housing segregation where segregated Roma settlements exist, dedicating the adequate financial resources; invites the Commission and Member States to continue using the EU Roma Strategic Framework Portfolio of Indicators and pursuing the fulfilment of the EU level targets set out in the Framework; and invites the Commission to support Member States in their efforts to address the problem of housing segregation and deprivation. This Council Conclusions represent a relevant step forward by putting on the political agenda the situation faced by many Roma as regards the equal access to adequate and desegregated housing (and notably the residential segregation that affects them) and by including a definition of “segregated settlements”. For more details, see EURoma news item

Social Economy

  • Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions, which, regarding to the access to the labour market, recommends the Member States to ensure “that public authorities provide adequate support to social economy entities with a view to better integrating into the labour market women, disadvantaged, and other underrepresented groups (such as the long-term unemployed, people suffering from mental ill-health, the inactive, the low-skilled, persons with disabilities, persons with a migrant, minority racial or ethnic background (including Roma), young and old workers).”


  • Council Decision (EU) 2023/2528 of 9 October 2023 on guidelines for the employment policies of Member States, which indicates that “Discrimination in all its forms should be tackled, gender equality ensured and employment of young people supported. Equal access and opportunities for all should be ensured and poverty and social exclusion, in particular that of children, persons with disabilities and the Roma people, should be reduced, in particular by ensuring an effective functioning of labour markets and adequate and inclusive social protection systems, […] and by removing barriers to inclusive and future-oriented education, training, lifelong learning and labour-market participation, including through investments in early childhood education and care, […] and investments in digital and green skills […]. Timely and equal access to affordable high-quality long-term care […] are particularly relevant, in particular in light of potential future health risks and in a context of ageing societies.”

Digital Skills

  • Council Recommendation on improving the provision of digital skills and competences in education and training, which recommends Member States to “agree, preferably through a whole-of-government approach, and involving key stakeholders, on coherent and consistent national, and where appropriate regional, strategies or strategic approaches for digital education and skills and competences, developed, further strengthened or updated taking inspiration from the principles of this Recommendation, and monitor their effectiveness and impact. In pursuit of their strategies or strategic approaches, Member States are recommended to: […]

c. identify ‘priority or hard-to-reach groups’ and establish appropriate measures to facilitate their participation in formal and non-formal education for digital skills, taking into account accessibility, territorial and socio-economic gaps in digital skills.”

         These “priority or hard-to-reach groups” are defined as follows: “For instance, those living in rural areas, disadvantaged or marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities, Roma, and third-           country nationals with limited knowledge of the host country, and those with a low or medium level of education, or not in education, employment or training.”

Roma Participation

Belgium follows Spain in the presidency of the European Council, and the main priorities and foreseen initiatives in its programme that could affect the Roma community or the use of EU funds for inclusion and equality can be found here.

Further information

Print Friendly, PDF & Email