EURoma´s Technical Secretariat participated in this consultation event and highlighted the need to improve the use and alignment of ESI Funds to continue strengthening policies for social inclusion, equality and non-discrimination for Roma.
On 1 October, the European Commission (Directorate-General Justice, DG Justice) brought together over 120 representatives of Member States, European networks and European and national civil society organisations in Brussels to discuss the next European Initiative for Roma Inclusion and Equality 2020-2030, once the current EU Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies comes to an end.
The one-day workshop was divided into 4 sessions addressing the following topics:
- Options for an EU action on Roma equality and inclusion post-2020, where different potential options were discussed building upon the findings of the mid-term evaluation of the current EU Framework.
- Measuring progress in Roma equality and inclusion post-2020, focusing on how to improve the measurement of progress in these fields both at EU and national level, in particular through the use of a new indicator framework. The role of objectives and targets in improving effectiveness and relevance of a future post-2020 initiative was also discussed.
- Focus on fighting antigypsyism and promoting Roma participation, discussing concrete operational suggestions for policymaking.
- Diversity within the Roma community, stressing the need for the future EU initiative and national strategies to take into consideration the needs of different Roma subgroups (Roma women, youth, children, EU mobile citizens…). European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) could also echo such acknowledgement of diversity in its investments on Roma inclusion.
There was a general agreement on the need to continue and reinforce inclusion policies and programmes as a key priority in post-2020 European action. In addition, there was a call for the inclusion of policies aimed at political recognition, social and political participation of Roma and the fight against antigypsyism, as essential measures to advance in equality of the Roma community in Europe.
Among other issues discussed, there was an agreement on the need to have data to assess the impact that programmes and policies have on the Roma population. It was also agreed that the specific situation of EU mobile Roma should be particularly addressed within future EU action/national strategies. The role of ESI funds was stressed as a privilege instrument to implement policy priorities.
The event was closed by Mr Schabolz Schmidt, Head of Non-discrimination policies and Roma coordination Unit, DG JUST, who informed about the series of complementary sectoral meetings (with civil society, representatives of Member States…) that were going to take place before the end of 2019. The result of all these meetings will feed into a European Communication to be launched by mid-2020.
This event is part of a comprehensive consultation process geared by DG JUST on a post-2020 EU Initiative on Roma Equality and Inclusion. EURoma Technical Secretariat has participated in the process on a regular basis building upon the discussions that partners have had on the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies 2011-2020 and the reflections on the future initiative. For further information on EURoma’s proposals, see EURoma positions papers