The assessment report takes stock of National Roma Strategic Frameworks (NRSFs) adopted by Member States following the approval of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation 2021-2030 (EU Roma Strategic Framework) and the Council Recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation, assesses the commitments made by countries and provides guidance to Member States to address the areas of improvement identified.
To support improvements in this field, the European Commission proposes to advance its work on fostering transnational partnerships, mutual learning and exchange of know-how and promising practices by, among others, supporting cooperation with the EURoma Network.
The assessment is composed of different documents:
- A Communication including general information about the assessment process, a summary of the main outcomes of the assessment as well as guidance to Member States to address the areas for improvement identified.
- A Staff Working Document in two parts, consisting of country fiches summarising the analysis of national strategies adopted by individual Member States, as well as by several EU candidate countries and potential candidates participating in the Poznań process. For each Member State, the country fiches assess how well the main proposed measures correspond to the objectives of the EU Roma Strategic Framework and the Council Recommendation, highlighting areas for improvement and examples of promising practices.The first part of the Staff Working Document also includes a table produced by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) on targets set by each Member State, and a summary of the findings of the country assessment reports produced by the Roma Civil Monitoring initiative (RCM).
In addition to referring to how the main objectives (sectoral and horizontal), targets and measures included in the EU Roma Strategic Framework and the Council Recommendation have been reflected by countries in their national frameworks, the assessment addresses other areas of direct relevance for EURoma partners:
- Status and role of the National Roma Contact Points (NRCPs)
Unfortunately, it seems that overall, the new strategies have not strengthened the NRCPs with additional financial and staff resources (as recommended by the EU Roma Strategic Framework) and, while some have a broad mandate, they are still limited in their capacity to carry out their coordination role effectively.
In its guidance to countries, the European Commission reiterates the importance of Member
States further empowering the NRCPs so that they can fulfil their key role effectively, an essential element in the successful implementation of the NRSFs. To this end, in addition to equipping them with suitable mandates and coordination roles with ministries and other responsible authorities (as most Member States have done), they should be further strengthened in terms of additional financial and staff resources. They should also be involved, as relevant, in the programming, implementation and monitoring (including in Monitoring Committees) of
ERDF and ESF+ programmes, as well as of the RRPs, and any other Union fund which can support Roma equality and inclusion.
- Funding for implementation of the NRSFs
Many Member States have mentioned as sources of funding a combination of national and EU funding, mostly under the EU cohesion policy, as well as funding from other international donors. This mix of funding is used to implement the measures set out in the NRSFs, and measures that include Roma as part of mainstream programmes in education, employment, health, and housing.
As regards the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), it is positive to see that, according to the information officially submitted as of November 2022, sixteen Member States intend to earmark funds under the ESF+ for marginalised communities, such as the Roma (BG, CZ, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HU, HR, IT, LU, PL, PT, RO, SK and SI), accounting for an estimated amount of over EUR 1.8 billion.
In its guidance to Member States, the Commission calls on Member States to address the areas for improvement identified, including by allocating corresponding budgets (as well as spelling out the financial sources, e.g. national budgets, ERDF, ESF+ programmes, RRP).
The report also refers to the role of the European Commission in supporting advances in this field by enforcing EU legislation, mainstreaming Roma equality in EU policy initiatives and mobilising EU funds for Roma and promoting Roma participation, inclusion and diversity as well as equality and fight against discrimination. As part of this support, the Commission will advance its work on fostering transnational partnerships, mutual learning and exchange of know-how and promising practices by supporting: (i) the network of National Roma Contact Points (ii) the organisation of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion (iii) the implementation of the Roma Civil Monitoring project (iv) cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) and the EURoma Network.