Resolution text

European Parliament 2019-2024                                                                                                                         

                                              TEXTS ADOPTED

                                             Provisional edition

P9_TA-PROV(2020)0229

Implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies: combating negative attitudes towards people with Romani background in Europe

European Parliament resolution of 17 September 2020 on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies: combating negative attitudes towards people with Romani background in Europe (2020/2011(INI))

The European Parliament,

  • having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
  • having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Social Charter, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, as well as reports and recommendations by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and other Council of Europe mechanisms,
  • having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations human rights treaties including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
  • having regard to Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin1,
  • having regard to Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation2,
  • having regard to Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of  criminal law1,          __________________________________________________________

1 OJ L 180, 19.7.2000,2 p. 22. 

2 OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.

  • having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community institutions and bodies2,
  • having regard to the Commission communication of 5 April 2011 entitled ‘An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2011)0173) and to the subsequent implementation and evaluation reports,
  • having regard to the Council recommendation of 9 December 2013 on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States3, and to the Council conclusions of 8 December 2016 on accelerating the process of Roma integration and of 13 October 2016 on the European Court of Auditors Special Report No 14/2016,
  • having regard to the European Parliament reports from 2010 on The EU Strategy on Roma inclusion and the Report on the gender aspects of the European Framework of National Roma Inclusion Strategies from 2013,
  • having regard to its resolution of 15 April 2015 on the occasion of International Roma Day
  • anti-Gypsyism in Europe and EU recognition of the memorial day of the Roma genocide during World War II4,
  • having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2017 on fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism5,
  • having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2019 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 20176,
  • having regard to its resolution of 12 February 2019 on the need for a strengthened post2020 Strategic EU Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies and stepping up the fight against anti-Gypsyism7,
  • having regard to its resolution of 7 February 2018 on Fighting discrimination of EU citizens belonging to minorities in the EU Member States8,
  • having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2018 on lagging regions in the EU9,having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the rise of neo-fascist violence in Europe1 ,

_______________________________________________________________

1 OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55.

2 OJ L 264, 25.9.2006, p. 13.

3 OJ C 378, 24.12.2013, p. 1.

4 OJ C 328, 6.9.2016, p. 4.

5 OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 171.

6 Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0032.

7 Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0075.

8 OJ C 463, 21.12.2018, p. 21.

9 OJ C 162,

10.5.2019, p. 24.

  • having regard to its resolution of 13 November 2018 on minimum standards for minorities in the EU2 ,
  • having regard to the Commission communication of 5 September 2019 entitled ‘Report on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies’ (COM(2019)0406)3 ,
  • having regard to the Commission communication of 4 December 2018 entitled ‘Report on the evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2018)0785)4 ,
  • having regard to the infringement proceedings titled Non-conformity with Directive 2000/43/EC on Racial Equality
  • Discrimination of Roma children in education (infringement numbers 20142174, 20152025 and 20152206),
  • having regard to The European Pillar of Social Rights,
  • having regard the European Economic and Social Committee opinion on the situation of Roma women (SOC/585-EESC-2018),
  • having regard to the Poznan Declaration of Western Balkans Partners on Roma Integration within the EU Enlargement Process,
  • having regard to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II),
  • having regard to the General Policy Recommendation No. 13 of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI),
  • having regard to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
  • having regard to the World Bank Poverty Map from 2016 clearly identifying the most back logged regions of Europe,
  • having regard to the relevant reports and recommendations of research institutions and Romani and pro-Romani civil society organisations, including Romani grassroots NGOs,
  • having regard to the European Citizens Initiatives on “Minority SafePack Initiative” and on “Cohesion policy for the equality of the regions and sustainability of the regional cultures”,
  • having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports, having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality,
  • having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A9-0147/2020),

1 Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0428.

2 Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0447.

________________________________________________________________

3 European Commission, Report on the implementation of national Roma integration strategies – 2019.

4 European Commission, Mid-term evaluation of the EU framework for NRIS.

A.whereas Romani people represent Europe’s largest ethnic minority; 

B.whereas the current Framework highlighted diversity under the broad umbrella term of “Roma”; whereas it failed to recognise the diversity within the population of Romani people; whereas the term Roma or the double term Sinti & Roma was used in an era when decision makers decided on Roma policies without real involvement of the Romani communities and therefore those communities feel alienated by it and whereas this definition used in EU policies and discussion does not reflect the heterogeneity of Romani community and therefore often criticized by them;

C.whereas the diversity among Romani people shall be far better reflected in the post2020 legislative proposal for the Equality, Inclusion and Participation of Romani people; whereas the term ‘Romani people’ encompasses people with Roma, Kalè, Manouches, Lovara, Rissende, Boyash, Domare, Kalderash, Romanichild and Sinti background; whereas the new definition, Romani people, better includes even those stigmatised as gypsies without having a corresponding ethnic background, such as Egyptians, Ashkali, or Travellers;

D.whereas a significant part of Romani people in Europe live in extremely precarious conditions in both rural and urban areas, and in very poor socio-economic circumstances1; whereas most Romani people are deprived of their fundamental human rights in all areas of life;

E.whereas according to EU MIDIS II, 61 % of EU citizens believe that discrimination against the Romani people is widespread in their country; whereas deeply rooted, persistent and structural and often institutional and governmental antygypsyism continues to exist at all levels of European society and manifests itself on a daily basis acknowledged as major barrier in achieving the full potential of Romani people as EU citizens enjoying fully fundamental rights, social inclusion and equality, in all spheres of life, including housing, education, healthcare and employment;

F.whereas Romani people continue to suffer from increased level of hate speech; notably in public, in social media and by public figures, politicians and officials; whereas they also suffer police violence, including collective punishment, racial profiling, residential and school segregation; whereas specific measures are needed in order to combat this phenomenon; whereas deficiencies in the rule of law, in the field of criminal justice lead to insufficient level of protection and access to justice for victims of police violence, and victims are often persecuted by the state authorities;

G.whereas combating antigypsyism through the existing anti-discrimination legislation is not sufficient; whereas EU Member States should show determination to break the vicious circle of antigypsyism, in particular in Romani people’s dealings with local, regional and national administrative authorities, to safeguard equality and nondiscrimination for their Romani citizens, and to grant the full enjoyment of their fundamental human rights;

________________________________________________________________

FRA, Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey, Roma – Selected findings, 2016.

H.whereas racism against Romani people has led to violence and killing; whereas hatemotivated harassment and hate crimes remain significantly high against Romani people and the majority of hate-motivated incidents are not reported;

I.whereas, according to EU MIDIS II in 2016, some 80 % of Romani people in nine EU Member States with the largest Romani populations live below their country’s poverty threshold; whereas poverty is both an outcome and a driver of antigypsyism, exclusion in education, employment, health and housing; whereas a key target of the EU 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was to lift 20 million people, including Romani people, out of risk of poverty; whereas the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell by 3,1 million between 2008 and 2017, the EU remains far from its Europe 2020 target of reducing this number by 20 million by 2020; 

J.whereas every third person with Romani background lives in housing without tap water and one in 10 in housing without electricity; whereas just over half have an indoor flush toilet or shower, and 78 % of Romani live in overcrowded housing; whereas a large number of Romani people still live in informal, unhygienic and irregular settlements in miserable living conditions; whereas many do not possess identification documents and lack medical insurance1;

K.whereas 43 % of Romani people are discriminated against when trying to buy or rent housing and are not sufficiently aware of their rights in terms of equality; whereas regularisation of property rights where possible, in particular in informal settings, should be reinforced; whereas abolishment of informal settings (evictions) should be accompanied by adequate accompanying measures, including offering an alternative housing; whereas no legal or political measures have been taken against Member States to end residential segregation, forced evictions and to ensure access to quality housing; whereas poor access to housing and public utilities, such as clean water and sanitation, has a negative impact on education, employment and health outcomes and adversely affects social inclusion overall;

L.whereas the life expectancy and health status of Romani people remain significantly lower than for non-Romani in all European countries; whereas the life expectancy at birth in the EU is 76 years for men and 82 years for women, and whereas for Romani people, it is estimated to be 10 years less; whereas the infant mortality rate in the EU is 4,3 per one thousand live births, and whereas there is evidence that the rate is much higher among Roma communities;

M.whereas many Romani people suffer of extremely high rates of illiteracy and early school leaving; whereas only one out of two Romani children attend pre-school or kindergarten, and a very small proportion continue school after compulsory education; whereas 50 % of Romani people between the ages of six and 24 are not in education; whereas only 21 % of Romani women and 25 % of Romani men aged 16–24 have completed secondary education (ISCED3) or higher; whereas in 2019, 68 % of Romani children left education early despite the 10% target of the previous Roma Framework and the EU2020 strategy; whereas only 18 % of Romani children transited to higher levels of education and the absenteeism and early-school-leaving rates among the Romani pupils were significantly higher completed secondary education (ISCED3) or higher; whereas in 2019, 68 % of Romani children left education early despite the 10% target of the previous Roma Framework and the EU2020 strategy; whereas only 18 % of Romani children transited to higher levels of education and the absenteeism and early-school-leaving rates among the Romani pupils were significantly higher than for other categories of pupils; whereas the discriminatory misdiagnosis of many Romani children as having special educational needs is leading to a disproportionate number of Romani children attending schools for children with disabilities, separating them from the mainstream school system and often receiving lower quality education; whereas direct and indirect segregation of Romani children is a phenomenon still practiced by Member States

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1 FRA, Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey, Roma – Selected findings, 2016.

N.whereas Romani people face discrimination in accessing employment initiatives such as the Youth Guarantee, whereas Public Employment Services often lack capacity to reach them, or apply indirect discrimination practices; whereas paid work rates for Romani people aged 20-64 years with 43 % was well below the EU average of 70 % in 2015, whereas the situation of young people is substantially worse with 63 % of Romani aged 16-24 not in employment, education or training (NEET), compared with the 12 % EU average, whereas the results show a considerable gender gap, with 72 % of young women of Romani background not in employment, education or training, compared with 55 % of young Romani men; whereas 43 % of Romani men and 22 % Romani women are in some form of paid work; whereas the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights has brought to the fore the fundamental right of everyone to engage in work and the reinforcement of social rights leading to a positive impact on the lives of people belonging to marginalised groups, such as the Romani people; whereas many Romani people living at the limits of extreme poverty are forced by this situation to accept jobs with salary way beyond the minimum wage, others are forced to survive from informal activities such as collecting metal scrap or plastic bottles, which massively increases the chances of exploitation of these people;

O.whereas expert reports and the European Commission’s 2019 report on the implementation of national Roma integration strategies recognise that success factors encompass intersectional, cross-sectoral and integrated approaches to tackle discrimination and multi-dimensional exclusion and that Romani women, Romani LGBT, Romani people with disabilities face intersectional discrimination; whereas the reports mention amongst the priorities the need to support the access of Romani people to justice with a focus on victims of intersectional discrimination, and reinforcing the capacity of equality bodies to deal with discrimination against Romani people;

P.whereas Romani women are particularly affected as regards women’s rights and often face exacerbated forms of verbal, physical, psychological, racial harassment and ethnic segregation in maternal health care facilities; whereas Romani women are placed in segregated rooms with segregated bathrooms and eating facilities; whereas in some Member States, Romani women have been subjected to systematic practices of forced and coercive sterilization and have been unable to obtain adequate reparations, including compensation, for the resulting violations of their human rights;

Q.whereas environmental injustices are regularly related to health risks and negative consequences for Romani people and whereas they are disproportionately affected by environmental burdens, have less access to environmental resources and services, and are discriminated against in their right to information, to participation in decisionmaking and access to justice in environmental matters;

R.whereas the creation of the first European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies put the necessity to improve the situation of Romani people on the European policy agenda, created vital institutional structures and networks and put pressure on Member States to develop National Strategies to address their shortcomings; whereas while building on the results of the evaluation of the current EU Framework it is essential that the National Inclusion Strategies for Romani people, guided by a post 2020 proposal, are continued and improved, asking for a strengthened compliance of the Member States, promoting the use of more binding targets to increase the commitment and accountability; whereas better implementation of national strategies, requires that such strategies are mainstreamed into national, regional and local sectoral policies, as well as a more efficient use of EU financing, especially for long-term integration projects;

S.whereas a legislative proposal for the Equality, Inclusion , Participation of Romani people and Combating Antigypsyism, is needed and should be developed on the basis of more realistic quantitative and qualitative disaggregated data collected with the support of Romani Civil Society Organisations (AM 87), including those from local level;

T.whereas Romani culture is part of Europe’s culture and values and Romani have contributed to the cultural richness, diversity, economy and common history of the EU (AM 89); whereas the protection and strengthening of cultural heritage related to national minorities in the Member States plays a crucial role in social cohesion;

U.whereas Member States are responsible for the development and effective implementation of the National Inclusion Romani Strategies in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity; whereas adequate funding should be allocated for the implementation of post-2020 National Inclusion Strategies for People with Romani Background from the local, regional and national budgets of the Member States and complemented by EU Funding; whereas efficient and strengthened monitoring oversight and sanctioning mechanisms should be developed; whereas the EU and the Member States must ensure that the funds are allocated for objectives and projects that have the biggest potential long-term impact on the situation of Romani people properly spent and not misused;

V.whereas approximately half of the Romani people in Europe live outside the European Union; whereas their situation remains particularly problematic in most of the candidate, potential candidate and neighbourhood countries; whereas the European Union can have a strong impact on their situation through the accession negotiations as well as through the provision of financial assistance;

W.whereas the equal participation and empowerment of Romani people in policymaking, from all levels, should be better ensured: local, regional, national and European stakeholders (NGOs, activists, experts, community members, etc.) should be significantly involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of public policies towards people with Romani background, in the post-2020 context;

X.whereas most of the disadvantaged communities of Romani people are often left behind and excluded from the benefits of the national inclusion programs due to limits in mapping methodologies used when identifying the communities most in need; whereas when designing programme intervention, the analyses should target the exact geographic area and the number of families, persons who face socio-economic exclusion;

Y.whereas Romani inclusion objectives should be aligned with the horizontal objectives of the European Union, and particularly with the Recovery Plan, the new Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Green Deal , the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Semester, the UN2030 Sustainable Development Goals, , the new Common Agricultural Policy, the Just Transition Fund, the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the European Digital Strategy, the SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe; whereas political support, is a key point for the inclusion of Romani people; whereas major mobilisation of key stakeholders at all levels, including in the Council, is needed to ensure political commitment and accountability of Member States,

Z.whereas antigypsyism exists in our societies since centuries and it took its most cruel form during the Holocaust, in which an estimated number of 500 000 Romani people were exterminated; whereas antigypsyism took the form of almost 500 years of slavery for Romani people on the territory of present Romania; whereas due to centuries of discrimination and social exclusion, Romani people could not efficiently and significantly benefit from the continuous socio-economic development of our societies; whereas they were left behind and consequently the disparities between Romani people and the general population have increased;

AA.whereas the COVID-19 crisis has seen that the situation of marginalised communities of Romani people in overcrowded compounds and settlements has worsened, that racism, discriminations, exclusion, police violence against Romani people and antigypsyist attitudes targeting Romani people as spreading the virus have been exacerbated and that because having limited access to adequate healthcare, drinking water, sanitation and food, Romani people are more at risk of contracting COVID-19; whereas the COVID19 crisis situation has therefore highlighted, more than clear, the urgent need for the EU and its Members States to address the inclusion of Romani people; whereas the Member States should deliver emergency support and medical care in order to limit the spread of the virus whereas the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 crisis threaten to affect the Romani population the hardest and deepen the existing inequalities in all priority areas of Romani inclusion;

 EU legislative proposal for Equality, Inclusion Participation of Romani people and Combating  Antigypsysim; post-2020 EU strategic proposal, priorities and adequate funding

  1. Notes that Romani people are subject to persistent antigypsyism – a specific form of racism – leading to the highest rates of poverty and social exclusion; notes with regret that despite continuous socio-economic development in the EU and efforts to ensure Romani inclusion both at EU and national level, the overall situation of the Romani people in the EU did not improve; often due to persistent antigypsyism and to the lack of political will; therefore calls on the Commission to lead by example and introduce a “Romani mainstreaming policy” in order to integrate the perspective of the Romani people at all stages and levels of mainstream policies, programmes and projects, but without excluding the targeted approach, and to prevent discrimination in the EU policy in general and facilitate affirmative action and active outreach to Romani people; calls on the Member States also to follow this path and create policies which help the active inclusion of Romani people into our societies;Calls on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal for the Equality, Inclusion,
  2. Participation of Romani people and Combating Antigypsysim, on the basis of a thorough impact  assessment and in systemic consultations with Romani people, (pro-) Romani experts and NGOs from national, regional and especially from grassroots level as well as other interested stakeholders such as the Council of Europe and FRA; considers that this proposal could be based on Article 19 (2) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union as appropriate action to combat discrimination based on ethnic origin of Romani people; is of the opinion that the previously used Council recommendation is not a sufficient form of act, as it was not legally binding and has failed to make a significant positive impact on the Romani people; calls on the Commission to take into account the internal heterogeneity of the community in the priority domains of the post 2020 proposal, ensuring that nobody is left behind, and strongly encourages to use the designation ‘ Romani people’ when referring to Romani groups in post 2020 EU policies and discussions; notes that equal participation in all domains of public life, political participation, and the language, arts, culture and history of Romani people should be explicitly mentioned in the post-2020 EU proposal for Romani people, as additional measures to the four main priority areas of education, employment, housing and healthcare;
  1. Is of the opinion that the proposal shall give priority to achieving a significant positive impact; it should combine the socio-economic aspects with a rights-based approach, including a plan to eliminate, housing, health, employment and education inequalities; it should include specific, comparable, achievable, binding and time-bound objectives to protect and improve the inclusion of Romani people, including those belonging to groups facing multiple discrimination, such as youth, women and girls, LGBTI persons and people with disabilities, to promote inclusive education, early childhood development and to combat discrimination and segregation; it should give priority to a justice approach, given the collective and the structural nature of discrimination against Romani people; stresses that the European Commission’s post-2020 proposal should focus on fighting against poverty and antigypsyism, improving living and health conditions and combining targeted and mainstream approach;
  1. Notes that to make the future EU Romani inclusion process successful and credible, a fundamental change in approach is needed, moving from the paternalistic approach to the non-paternalistic one when developing policies towards Romani people.; emphasises that national efforts towards Romani inclusion should be accelerated in all EU Member States; stresses however that the emphasis should be placed on those with a large Romani population where an ineffective process of Romani inclusion poses macroeconomic challenges, deepens regional disparities and thus hampers EU social cohesion; underlines that the EU support to those countries should be measured up to the challenges, and greater attention should be devoted to the effectiveness of policies and measures in these countries, is of the opinion that the post-2020 proposal should also include an external component concerning accession candidate and potential candidate countries as well as neighbourhood countries, through which the EU could support these countries in developing comprehensive long-term strategies for Romani inclusion and to offer financial support in the areas such as education, health , housing and employment;
  1. Calls on the Commission to strengthen the link between EU mainstream financial and policy instruments and objectives related to the socio-economic development and inclusion of Romani people set out by the Commission’s legally binding proposal; calls on the Commission to mobilise funding for Romani equality, inclusion and participation under the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and EU Recovery Plan; insists in this respect that entities that engage in discriminatory practices against Romani people, or take decisions or implement measures to this effect, should not be eligible for funding from the Union's budget; calls upon the Commission, Member States and enlargement countries to adjust the existing mainstream financial mechanisms and make them flexible for blended use of funds in Romani communities by enabling access to information, outreach, capacity building, delivery of technical assistance and guarantees during the funding application process; is of the opinion that funds are often most effectively spent at local level by local governments and NGOs, therefore calls on the Commission to increase the funds distributed directly to them, and involve local Romani representatives in the implementation; takes the view that in order to support Romani and pro-Romani civil society organisations, more flexible co-financing requirements should be taken into account, as many NGOs, especially from local level cannot afford own financial contributions, this being a barrier in accessing EU funds for the grassroots NGOs; calls on the Commission to effectively respond to the concern about the increasingly shrinking space for independent civil society in some Member States; is concerned that the coronavirus outbreak might lead to cuts in relation to the Rights and Values programmes for the MFF 2021-2027, negatively affecting CSOs advocating for Romani communities and thus affecting outreach to Romani communities; calls on the Commission and the Member States to effectively address this risk;
  1. Calls on the Member States to complement the EU financial support in order to improve the situation of Romani people; calls on the Member States to indicate what level of funding would be needed to carry out the proposed measures for inclusion of Romani people and to state the amount of money available for such measures from the national and from the EU budgets;
  1. Calls on the Member States to integrate better mapping methodologies for marginalized Romani communities and strengthened funding mechanisms into their regional and local development structures that allow more targeted investments in marginalized Romani communities and a better inclusion of Romani communities into the implementation of funds to ensure that the funds allocated reach Romani people and are properly spent and not misused;

Collection of disaggregated data

8.Highlights the need for systematic collection of robust ethnic and gender disaggregated data to inform needs and context analysis, help in setting targets and impact indicators in order to ensure the best outcome in terms of matching needs with planning and budgeting, both at national and EU level; emphasises the importance of counterfactual impact evaluation methods in order to reduce the gap between policy frameworks and implementation on the ground; reminds that a critical limitation for some interventions is the gap between the ambition and the capacity of the structure in place to achieve results, due to the lack of data based planning, insufficient budgeting, and emergence of new unforeseen needs;

9.Recalls that the ECA has concluded in 2016 that the monitoring and assessing the progress of the NRIS was a significant challenge for all visited Member States; calls on the Commission to build innovative, impact-oriented and data-based approaches as direct input to the next generation of programmes;

10.Calls on the Commission to work with the Member States on a common methodology to collect and publish equality data disaggregated by ethnic origin as defined by the EU Racial Equality Directive that is voluntary, anonymous and ensures the protection of personal data, self-identification and consultation with relevant communities, in order to obtain reliable, comparable data in accordance with the relevant national legal frameworks and EU data protection legislation to support evidence based policies, to improve the effectiveness of strategies and measures taken and to identify structural problems;

11.Calls on the Member States to use all available data to establish benchmarks and guide policy programme development; emphasises that it is vital to develop a more accurate profile of the Romani population and their needs, including in the candidate countries; underlines that the Fundamental Rights Agency’s guidelines would be key in this regard;

Equal participation of Romani people in decision-making processes, National inclusion Strategies

  1. Calls on the Commission to establish an inclusive mechanism to ensure the equal participation of Romani and pro-Romani civil society organisations, experts and community members from all levels, moving from a paternalistic approach to a nonpaternalistic approach, including those active at local and regional level, taking into account a gender perspective in the policy debate and decision-making; calls on the Member States to promote Romani voter education and turnout;
  2. Calls on the Commission to develop a Romani Task Force at EU level to facilitate Romani inclusion into different policy fields and Empowering Romani people by supporting the capacity-building of all actors involved in the management and implementation of the EU and national Romani policies, in a substantive, dignified, impartial, inclusive, and transparent manner; calls on the Member States to do the same when creating their own post-2020 National Inclusion Strategies for Romani people; stresses that local and regional stakeholders, including NGOs, activists, local experts, regional experts, community members, the people affected by antigypsyism must be significantly involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of the National Inclusion Strategies and other public policies towards Romani people, making Romani participation a binding common quality standard for the future framework and National Inclusion Strategies;
  3. Calls on the Member States to develop post-2020 National Strategies for the Inclusion of Romani people, accompanied by a comprehensive joint assessment framework and with an adequate pre-defined budget, incorporated into the national, regional and local budgets subject to a periodic review and evaluation and which reflects the scale of the social inclusion needs of Romani people; emphasises that when local, regional, and national budgets are developed, the inclusion of Romani people must be among the priorities; calls on the Member States to include the fight against antigypsyism in a horizontal approach in their National Inclusion Strategies, in all domains of public life; calls on the Commission to include in the Country Specific recommendations an assessment of the progress in achieving the objectives from the National Inclusion Strategies;

Antigypsyism and intersectional discrimination

  1. Reiterates its position and recommendations put forward in its resolution of 25 October 2017 on fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting antigypsyism; since limited action has been taken so far, calls on the Commission to integrate those recommendations into its post-2020 EU proposal for the Equality, Inclusion Participation of Romani people and Combating Antigypsyism, particularly the recommendations relating to antigypsyism and truth and reconciliation as these are the cornerstone of building a strong and inclusive society; strongly rejects the political narrative and populism to build government policy on inciting antigypsyism, exercising scapegoating of Romani people and promoting discrimination or segregation both directly and indirectly; is of the opinion that such political actions are against not only the national constitutions but the fundamental rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties; therefore calls on the Commission to take immediate action by opening infringement procedures when there is a risk of breach of EU law;
  2. Calls on the Member States to officially recognise antigypsyism as a specific form of racism against Romani people;
  3. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to tackle antigypsyism across the key areas of the post-2020 proposal towards Romani people and demands effective European and national legislative and policy measures to tackle this phenomenon both in Member States and enlargement countries; considers that the fight against antigypsyism is a horizontal issue and that it should be taken into account in all areas of Union policy, including the new technologies; calls on the Members States to ensure that new technologies designed and used by law enforcement authorities do not create risks of discrimination for racial and ethnic minorities; calls on the Commission to further integrate the work of National Equality Bodies (NEBs) into the development and implementation of the future policy framework; further asks the Commission to develop stronger synergies between the National Equality Bodies NEBs and national Romani Contact Points (NRCP) to fight against antigypsyism; calls on the Member States to guarantee the effective independence, the mandate and the necessary resources of the equality bodies for enabling them to carry out their tasks in the promotion and protection of fundamental rights also of Romani people; is of the opinion that equality bodies are the right institutions to collect data and draw trends on antigypsyism and to channel it to the European level;
  4. Calls on the Member States to secure equal access to justice and equality before the law for Romani people; calls on the Member States to protect Romani people from threats by far-right groups, investigate incidents of police abuse and ensure Romani participation in law enforcement and security forces;
  5. Encourages the Member States to adopt Guidelines and develop trainings to the police forces against disproportionate criminalisation of Romani people, ethnic profiling, excessive stop-and-search procedures, uncalled-for raids on Romani settlements, arbitrary seizure and destruction of property, excessive use of force during arrests, assaults, threats, humiliating treatment, physical abuse, and the denial of rights during police interrogation and custody and in under-policing of crimes committed against Romani people, providing little or no assistance, protection (such as in cases of trafficking and for victims of domestic violence) or investigation in cases of crimes reported by Romani people (hate crimes in particular); calls on the Member States to ensure that full investigation of such cases is undertaken by the competent authorities; calls on the Member States to provide appropriate remedies;
  6. Welcomes the Council of Europe statements that the phenomenon of online hate speech requires further analysis and action with a view to regulating and finding new ways of combating rhetoric of this kind such as alternative narrative and fact checking technologies;
  7. Calls on the Member States to ensure the effective practical implementation and enforcement of the Racial Equality Directive and to ensure effective enforcement of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia to combat persisting antigypsyism; reiterates its call on the Council to unblock negotiations on the horizontal antidiscrimination directive as it is a prerequisite to achieve equality in the EU;
  8. Further calls on the Member States to reinforce their efforts to combat discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes within national and EU anti-discrimination legislation, particularly with regard to monitoring the situation of affected Romani victims and providing judicial assistance;
  9. Recalls Member States’ obligation under the Racial Equality Directive to designate a specialised body for the promotion of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on grounds of racial and ethnic origin;
  10. Takes the view that EU and Member States should take action regarding the situation and the rights of individuals at the intersections of discrimination grounds in the EU, in particular women, LGBTI people, people with disabilities;
  11. Recalls the critical role of media in decreasing antigypsyist attitudes through nondiscriminatory coverage of minorities;

Health

  1. Calls on the Member States to develop measures to improve access to good quality and affordable preventive and curative healthcare for Romani people, including sexual and reproductive healthcare, and in particular for women, children, older people and persons with disabilities; reiterates that a key element in that regard is improving access to health services – both physical access and removing the intangible barriers of prejudice and racism;
  2. Calls on the Member States to allocate sufficient funding for improving the general health condition of Romani communities through health and sex-education, through mobile health screening activities in segregated areas, through health educational campaigns on prevention, and through training of health and social workers on diversity, which contributes to adapting EU health systems to diversity;
  3. Strongly condemns Romani women ethnic segregation in maternal health care facilities; calls on Member States to immediately prohibit all forms of ethnic segregation in health facilities, including maternal health care settings;

  4. Calls on Member States to ensure effective and timely remedies to all survivors of forced and coercive sterilization, including through the establishment of effective compensation schemes;

Equal and equitable access to education, Romani arts, language and culture

  1. Calls on the Commission to design new funding tools or sub-programmes that should be complementary to the measures of the Member States for targeted and tailored support in quality education for Romani pupils from 3 years on, who are contending with extreme poverty and do not have access to existing and future EU educational and social inclusion funding initiatives, such as Erasmus Plus, the Child Guarantee or the European Social Fund Plus;
  2. Notes that in some Member States only limited progress has been achieved over previous years in the education of socially disadvantaged Romani children due, in particular, to the lack of political will and antigypsyism, which cause the gap between Romani and non-Romani pupils and students in terms of educational outcomes to remain high; recalls that providing Romani children with an equal start in life is essential to break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of poverty; urges Member States to adopt a holistic approach across all policy areas and to place the education of Romani children high on governments’ agendas;

  3. Recommends that the education of vulnerable Romani pupils should start as early as possible, taking into account the specific conditions in each Member State, by including them into equal, affordable, accessible and inclusive early childhood and childcare services; urges Member States to develop and implement strategies and programmes aimed at facilitating the access of Romani to childcare facilities, schools and universities, which is a precondition for personal and career development, and recalls that extra-curricular activities, such as sports or artistic activities, are excellent means of inclusion;

  4. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure adequate funding to NGOs which provide such activities as these activities are crucial to create an environment and conditions where children from all backgrounds have equal opportunities; considers that the exchange of good practices between Member States is also crucial in this field;
  5. Is particularly concerned by the high level of segregation of Romani children in schools and the discriminatory practice of placing Romani children in schools for children with mental disabilities, which persist in some Member States; urges the Member States concerned to put an end to such practices in accordance with applicable antidiscrimination legislation; calls on the Member States to prioritise measures to eliminate any form of school or class segregation of Romani pupils in line with the 2013 Council Recommendation, by implementing a wide range of measures actively involving local stakeholders, particularly Romani parents and children, as well as community organisations and by developing awareness raising actions;
  6. Calls on the Member States to ensure that all schools and inspectorates actually fulfil their legal obligation to desegregate school and also to commit to annually collect and publish the situation of school segregation at all levels, including by sanctioning those who fail to comply; calls on the Members States to exchange good practices such as establishing, capacitating and resourcing a desegregation ministerial commission in order to support schools who want to desegregate and sanction those who do not comply (AM 251); reminds that the Commission opened 3 infringement procedures on segregation of Romani children; is of the opinion that the last years have shown no improvement despite the Commission's efforts; therefore calls on the Commission to take further steps and refer these cases to the European Court of Justice if necessary;

  7. Recalls the pressing need to involve Romani parents in each stage of their children’s schooling; urges Member States to develop programmes aimed at the inclusion of Romani parents in the process of their children’s schooling and educational and personal development; stresses that the ability of Member States to ensure the involvement of Romani parents is highly dependent on multiple factors, both societal and economic, and asks for special support – in terms of health integrity, school food and clothing supply – for Romani families facing economic, social, medical or housing difficulties; believes that for children who have abandoned school and/or are illiterate and lack basic skills, new opportunities should be designed to continue their education; calls on Member States to make full use of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived in this regard;
  8. Calls on EU Member States to ensure equal access of Romani children to high quality education including through community service learning and life-long learning opportunities; calls on the Member States to structurally address respect for diversity, intercultural understanding and human rights in regular school curricula and media; and to include human rights, leadership and democratic citizenship training as well as Romani history in their school curricula and to disseminate and expand Romani university programs at European level;
  9. Calls on the Member States to design laws and policy measures aiming to ensure remedies for all Romani children misdiagnosed and placed in special schools or Romani-only classes and schools based on ethnic origins and consequently having been denied fundamental rights and opportunities for quality education and good jobs;

  10. Is of the opinion that COVID-19 made necessary the active use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and methods; stresses however that the pandemic revealed insufficient preparedness in digital transformation as many families with Romani background and their schools are not equipped with adequate ICT tools and skills and are often unable to afford electricity and digital connectedness, considers that the possession of an ICT device is the turnkey point into digital education, therefore urges the Commission to create a pool of ICT tools and distribute it among the most vulnerable families and children to provide them with the basic tools for distant learning and prepare them for the digital age; considers that access to internet and ICT skills are a cornerstone of the forthcoming digital age for every citizen and as such it is essential for the empowerment of Romani people as well; therefore calls on the Commission to introduce the provisions related to internet access into the post-2020 proposal; calls on the Member States to add ICT skills into their curriculum from an early age and to invest in digital literacy programmes that can support Romani children;

  11. Calls on the Member States to promote Romani language, culture and history, in school curricula, museums and other forms of cultural and historical expression, and recognize the contribution of Romani culture as part of the European Heritage; calls on the Member States to develop coherent and consistent measures, with appropriate budgets to stimulate, support and promote the Romani arts and culture, to research and conserve the material and intangible heritage of the traditional Romani culture and to revive and promote Romani traditional crafts;

Quality and affordable housing, environmental justice

41.Stresses that housing is not a commodity, but a necessity, without which people cannot fully participate in society and access fundamental rights; calls on the Commission and the Member States to integrate in their polices the recommendations of the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Report, “ECSR The Right to affordable housing, Europe's neglected duty”, with particular reference to ensuring that all Member States promptly accept to be bound by Article 31 of the revised European Social Charter dealing with the right to housing, and step up investing in social and affordable housing to eradicate the housing cost overburden, particularly among marginalised groups;

42.Strongly encourages the Member States to ensure that Romani people are duly registered with ID papers and birth certificates, and that their properties (land and house) are equally registered and to ensure more flexible legal and administrative procedures for the future;

43.Calls on the Member States to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in overcrowded and inhuman housing conditions lived in by Romani people, legalising their informal settlements, by investing in infrastructure and housing improvement for newly legalised informal settlements;

44.Calls on the Member States to adopt a comprehensive mechanism to ensure that discrimination and abuse against Romani people in the field of housing is prevented and sanctioned, to address the issue of homelessness and to provide sufficient and appropriate halting sites for non-sedentary Romani people; calls on the Member States to prevent further forced evictions of Romani people by ensuring that such practices always take place in full compliance with International, European and national law calls on the Members States to ensure that the persons concerned are provided with reasonable notice and adequate information and points out that no evictions should take place without the provision of substitute standard, affordable and quality housing in a desegregated setting, which has access to public services; emphasises the urgent need for public investments in order to overcome segregation; calls on the Member States to promote spatial desegregation points out that geographical isolation and housing segregation keeps members of ethnic minorities away from decent jobs, regardless of their level of qualification; notes that finding solutions to evictions by engaging with different institutions is key, while actions addressing Romani housing should be integrated into broader national activities and legislative initiatives that focus on social housing or assistance programmes;

45.Recalls that the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak are being felt mostly by the most deprived, including the Romani communities, across the EU and deplores that Romani communities are being further discriminated and marginalised due to the coronavirus pandemic; calls on the Member States to adopt under the COVID-19 crisis urgent measures to address the lack of water, adequate sanitation, electricity and needed infrastructure in poor Romani communities; calls on the Member States to fully include Romani settlements in disinfection measures, to prohibit the cancellation of basic utility services during the pandemic, to consider subsidizing consumption costs for the most vulnerable and those who have lost incomes, or freezing payments until the end of the recovery plan period, to provide financial support for lone parents/single mothers for childcare, rent payments and other household expenses to alleviate the financial hardship, especially in light of the job losses;

46.Calls for the EU-wide implementation of the Aarhus Convention that links environmental rights and human rights; recommends that environmental injustices are integrated in the post 2020 proposal and call on the Commission to address the different forms of environmental discrimination;

Romani women and girls

  1. Stresses the need to give priority to a gender perspective and gender-sensitive policies and fight violence (including human trafficking); urges all Member States who have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention to do so urgently; notes that future policies shall acknowledge these differences and address them by providing Romani women with specific interventions and particular forms of support; stresses that being often subjected to multiple discrimination, specific measures for the empowerment of Romani women and girls should be envisaged;
  2. Calls on Member State governments, local authorities and, where relevant, EU institutions to involve Romani women, through women’s organisations, and relevant stakeholders, in the preparation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of the NRIS and to create links between gender equality bodies, women’s rights organisations and social inclusion strategies so as to build trust with communities and ensure sensitivity to local contexts;

  3. Calls on the Member States to ensure that a specific chapter on women’s rights and gender equality is included in their National Inclusion Strategies, and that gender mainstreaming measures aimed at promoting women’s rights and the gender equality perspective are applied in each section thereof, in particular in the allocation of funds, in line with the Council conclusions on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies which stresses that a gender perspective needs to be applied in all policies and actions for advancing Romani inclusion’; calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess whether policies are achieving the desired improvements for Romani women and girls, and to take action if there is a lack of progress;

  4. Calls on the Member States to design measures to support Romani women to fully fulfil their potential and possibilities of acting as independent, self-confident and emancipated active citizens; calls on the Member States to expand the Romani health and school mediation systems, mandatory, to all Romani communities, to ensure a mediator for each 500 people and to properly finance and support the systems, giving the mediators a more pivotal role in the inclusion process;

  5. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to include Romani girls and women more explicitly with active labour market policies, including the Youth Guarantee;

  6. Calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that the fundamental rights of Romani women and children are respected, and that – also by means of awarenessraising campaigns – Romani women and girls are aware of their rights under existing national legislation on gender equality and discrimination, and to further combat patriarchal and sexist traditions;

Quality employment services

  1. Calls on the Member States to ensure quality employment services for Romani youth, including those not in employment, education and training and who are contending with extreme poverty;
  2. Calls on the Commission to present a communication on guidelines and standards for discrimination-free recruitment policies for Member States and employers, including recommendations for the adoption of equality plans at company level and in sectoral collective agreements and the implementation of diversity taskforces in the workplace, including tackling stereotypes, prejudice and negative attitudes, preventing discrimination in recruitment, promotion, pay and access to training; highlights the fact that these equality action plans should be also used to promote ethnic and cultural diversity at the workplace, to develop internal regulations against racism and racismrelated discrimination and harassment in the workplace, to monitor and review recruitment, progression and retention of workforce by equality strand in order to identify direct or indirect discriminatory practices and to adopt corrective measures to reduce inequality in each of these areas and, to this effect, collect equality data in respect of privacy and fundamental rights standards;
  3. Highlights that the most critical points to address in the area of Romani employment are the effective transition from education to the open labour market; highlights the importance of tackling diverse forms of undeclared employment, discrimination by employers, of matching labour demand with labour supply;
  4. Calls on the Commission to fulfil its commitment to adopting an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and to incorporate Romani inclusion as an indicator in the social scoreboard; urges the Commission and the Member States to ensure, access to decent jobs, fair wages and working conditions for Romani people and to guarantee that social protection systems and social services are adequate, accessible and used by all potential beneficiaries, and include universal health coverage without discrimination, as well as minimum income schemes and pension rights;
  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and candidate countries, the subnational parliaments and councils of the Member States and candidate countries, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Committee of the Regions, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

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