Resolution on the need for a strengthened post-2020 strategic EU framework for national Roma inclusion strategies and stepping up the fight against anti-gypsyism

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the need for a strengthened post-2020 Strategic EU Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies and stepping up the fight against anti-Gypsyism.

The resolution was tabled by the EPP, S&D, ECR, ALDE, GUE/NGL, Greens/EFA groups.

Parliament called on the EU and Member States to adopt strong Roma inclusion plans post-2020 and to step up the fight against anti-gypsyism, a form of dehumanisation and institutional racism, which is expressed, among others, by violence, hate speech, exploitation, stigmatisation and the most blatant kind of discrimination. It noted that the findings of the Commission report on the evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 underline that whilst the framework has been key for the development of EU and national instruments aiming to promote Roma inclusion, progress has been limited. Parliament highlighted increased school segregation, limited medical coverage, the lack of improvement in access to employment, and little progress on housing and poverty.

Members also point to the facts that the current EU framework lacks clear objectives and measurable targets, and that there are insufficient qualitative and quantitative monitoring procedures, while country-specific recommendations are not binding. In addition, there is little effort being made to address the limited participation of Roma individuals and communities in the frameworks design and implementation of programmes.

The resolution made a number of recommendations to the Commission and to the Member States respectively. It called on the Commission, inter alia, to:

- propose a Strategic EU Framework on National Roma Inclusion Strategies for the post-2020 period with a wider set of priority areas, clear and binding targets, timelines and indicators, and allocating substantial public funds to this end;

- sufficiently involve Roma representatives, NGOs and the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) in the design of the Strategic EU Framework;

- place the fight against anti-Gypsyism at the heart of the Strategic EU Framework, including by adding a specific anti-discrimination goal;

- ensure that multiple and intersectional discrimination, gender mainstreaming and a child-sensitive approach are properly addressed in the Strategic EU Framework;

- pay attention to specific groups within the Roma population in the Framework, such as EU Roma exercising their right to freedom of movement, non-EU nationals and Roma in accession countries;

Member States were particularly called upon to:

- prepare Strategic National Roma Inclusion Strategies for the post-2020 period with a wide set of priority areas, clear and binding targets, timelines and indicators for monitoring; - explicitly consider children as a priority when programming and implementing their Strategic National Roma integration strategies;

- develop targeted strategies and concrete actions to fight anti-Gypsyism, such as investigating current and past racist attacks against Roma, and encourage equitable representation of Roma in all spheres of life;

- follow a bottom-up approach and involve Roma representatives in the design of their Strategies; - utilise the available EU Structural Funds to improve the living conditions and life chances of Roma in a transparent and accountable manner and investigate the misuse of relevant funds and take legal action against the perpetrators;

- include a truth, recognition and reconciliation process in their Strategies for the sake of trust

-building and to highlight concrete cultural and structural measures and initiatives supported by public funds. Members stressed that the evaluation shows that the current EU framework did not pay sufficient attention to targeting specific groups among Roma, that multiple and intersectional discrimination have to be addressed and that there is a need for a strong gender dimension and a child-centered approach in the strategies.

Lastly, Parliament asked Member States to secure the absorption of all the funds targeting Roma communities, including by the end of the current MFF.