In Focus

Roma Inclusion

 The Member States of the European Union have the main responsibility to elaborate and implement efficient public policies aimed to promote the social inclusion of the Roma in fundamental areas such as education, employment, public health, access to housing and infrastructure, fight against poverty. At the same time, the European Union can play a fundamental role in promoting the principle of non -discrimination[1] and in coordinating and supporting the national measures adopted by the Member States[2].   

 

Thus, defining a joint responsibility between the Member States and the European Union was confirmed by the European Council of 14th of December 2007. The Council, “being conscious of the specific situation of the Roma community in the European Union”, invited the Member States and the European Union “to use all means in order to improve their social inclusion”. At the same time the GAC and EPSCO Councils debated the subject and adopted Conclusions in May 2008, respectively in June 2009 and June 2010. Romania was one of the Member States which participated with proposals to the extensive debate at the European Union level in order to obtain concrete results.

 

On its part, the European Commission intensified the actions of coordinating and evaluating the Member States policies related to the Roma inclusion. Together with the rotating Presidencies of the Council of the European Union, the Commission is actively involved in the organization of the European platforms for the Roma inclusion, of the Roma Summits and of the high level Conferences regarding the use of Structural Funds in order to improve the Roma situation. In this context, in September 2010 a task force for the inclusion of Roma was established in the framework of the Commission (Roma Task Force – RTF), which first task was to carry out an assessment on the use of Structural Funds by Member States in this area.

 

The RTF Activity will have as result the adoption of a Communication by the Commission in April 2011 which will propose a European Framework for the National Strategies for Roma Inclusion. Starting from the Commissions Communication and taking into account its national experiences, the Hungarian Presidency has in view to adopt, in the EPSCO Council of 19th of May 2011, Conclusions regarding the Roma inclusion. This ministerial reunion, which will be fully dedicated to the Roma issue, will contribute to the preparation of the debate on this subject at the European Council of 24th of June 2011.

 

March 2011



[1] Under the Art. 19 TFUE “Without prejudice to the other provisions of the Treaties and within the limits of the powers conferred by them upon the Union, the Council, acting unanimously in accordance with a special legislative procedure and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

[2] At the Eruopean level can be adopted “the basic principles of Union incentive measures, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States, to support action taken by the Member States (art. 19 alin. 23 TFUE).

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