In addition to the mentions to Roma throughout the report, one of the chapters is specifically devoted to Roma equality and inclusion.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field in 2021, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions. The report covers all 27 EU Member States, as well as the Republic of Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia.
This year’s report focus chapter looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social rights, examining the measures in National Recovery and Resilience Plans which address the social vulnerabilities among a variety of population groups in the EU. The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the extent to which people in the EU must contend with social vulnerabilities in their daily lives. What started as a global health crisis soon morphed into a global social crisis affecting everyone in the European Union.
Among the other chapters, Chapter 5 is specifically devoted to the situation of the European Roma population from the perspective of equality and inclusion. In addition, references to Roma are included throughout the report.
The full list of topics addressed include:
- Social rights and equality in the light of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic
- EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Equality and non-discrimination
- Racism, xenophobia and related intolerance
- Roma Equality and Inclusion
- Asylum, borders, visas, migration, and integration
- Information society, privacy and data protection
- Rights of the child
- Access to justice – victims’ rights and judicial independence
- Developments in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Roma equality and inclusion
According to the report, in 2021, the fundamental rights of Roma and Travellers were still not fully respected. Antigypsyism, discrimination, poverty and social exclusion, as well as hate crime and hate speech, continue to affect a disproportionate number of Roma and Travellers across the EU. Measures to tackle the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic compounded these problems.
In this context, FRA’s report revolves around two main elements:
- The implementation of the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Roma equality, inclusion and participation adopted in 2021 and in particular the elaboration and adoption of the Member States National Roma Strategic Frameworks.
The review includes information about aspects such as the involvement of relevant stakeholders, the mainstreaming of Roma inclusion (European Pillar of Fundamental Rights, EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025, European Child Guarantee…), the focus on diversity and the specific situations of vulnerable groups among Roma and the monitoring and data collection (including examples from different countries).
It also addresses the role of EU funds to support Roma equality and inclusion, focusing mainly on those made available by the EU through the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the information available at the moment of elaborating the report, most Member States’ National Recovery and Resilience Plans (16 out of 27) do not mention Roma. Among the 11 Member States that explicitly mention Roma, five refer to them as part of a broader category (e.g. “individuals from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds” followed by a list of groups including Roma) and only six countries explicitly refer to Roma as a vulnerable group.
As regards the European Cohesion Policy Funds, the report refers to the potential of the enabling horizontal and thematic conditions (including those on Roma and on the Charter of Fundamental Rights) established in the Common Provisions Regulations.
- The challenges and the ways forward in the Member States in relation to the horizontal and sectoral objectives set out in the EU Roma Strategic Framework, including:
- Fight and prevention of antigypsyism and discrimination (multiple and intersectional discrimination, police stops and violence against Roma…)
- Reduction of poverty and exclusion
- Promotion of participation through empowerment, cooperation and trust
- Access to education
- Access to employment
- Health and access to healthcare
- Access to housing