Report on the implementation of national Roma integration strategies (excerpts), 2019

I. SUBSTANTIVE POLICY AREAS

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1. EDUCATION

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1.1. Focus of measures

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Distribution of education measures by relevance to the respective sub-areas of the Council Recommendation

Thematic sub-areaMS
Fight early school-leaving AT, BE, BG, CY, ES, EL, HU, HR, IT, LV, LT, LU, NL, PT, RO, SE, SK, UK
Consider the needs of individual pupilsAT, CY, CZ, ES, HU, IT, LV, LT, LU, PT, RO, SE, SI, UK
Encourage Roma participation in – and completion of – secondary and tertiary educationAT, BG, HR, CZ, ES, HU, LT, LU, PT, RO, SK
Increase the access to and quality of early childhood education and careAT, BG, HR, CY, CZ, ES, HU, IT, LU, NL, RO, SI, SK
Eliminate school segregationAT, BE, BG, CZ, EL, ES, HR, IT, LU, NL, RO, SK
Use inclusive and tailor-made teaching and learning methodsAT, BG, HR, CY, CZ, LT, LU, NL, RO, SI, SK, UK
Support the acquisition of skills adapted to labour market needsAT, BG, CZ, EL, ES, LT, LU, NL, PT, RO, SI, SK
Support transition between educational levelsAT, BG, CZ, ES, HU, HR, IT, LU, NL, PT, RO, SK
Encourage parental involvementAT, BE, BG, CY, ES, HR, LV, LT, LU, RO, SK
Improve teacher trainingAT, BG, CY, CZ, ES, LT, RO, SE, SI, SK
Promote extracurricular activities AT, BG, CY, EL, IT, LV, LT, RO, SI, SK
Widen access to second-chance education and adult learning AT, BG, CY, CZ, EL, ES, HR, LT. LU, UK
Fight illiteracy AT, BG, CY, HU, ES, HR, NL, RO
Prevent inappropriate placement of Roma in special needs schoolsAT, CZ, ES, HR, RO, SK

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1.2. Achievements and challenges

The most widespread achievement mentioned by NRCPs in the area of education is mediation9 . Other achievements include: development of kindergarten capacities10; improved support to fighting and monitoring early school-leaving 11 ; and including Roma inclusion and non-discrimination related topics in teacher training or national curricula12 .

9 AT, FR, EL, ES, IT, LV, RO

10 e.g. CZ, SK

11 e.g. HU, ES, LV

12 e.g. AT, ES, IT, PT

The most significant challenges highlighted by NRCPs include: school participation, absenteeism, early school-leaving, the transition from primary to secondary and the completion of secondary education. 13 Other challenges include: fighting segregation 14 ; ensuring and developing human capacities15; cooperation among stakeholders16; promoting early childhood education and care;17 adult learning and second chance education18; and data availability19 .

13 AT, CY, EE, EL, ES, FR, HR, LT, NL

14 EL, ES, HR, RO

15 EL, LV, SE, SK

16 ES, LT, LV, PL

17 BG, EL, ES

18 AT, BG, EL

19 HR, IT, PT

1.3. Policy learning

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Promising approaches:
BG, CZ, DK, EL, FI, FR, HR, HU, LT, PL, SK: Introduction or extension of obligatory (free) preschool, ESIF funded development of kindergartens, training for kindergarten teachers
CY, EL, ES, IE, IT, HR, HU, LT, LV, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI: Programmes aimed at preventing school drop-out of Roma (girls) through afterschool support, tutoring, scholarships, mentoring, mediation, assistants, second chance education, teacher training, support to families
AT, CY, FI, HU, IE, IT, PT, RO: Introducing Roma history (including the Holocaust) and/or culture in national curricula
IE, HR, RO: Allocation of places to Roma in secondary and tertiary education
LT: Network of schools attended by Roma children receiving capacity building and competence development
SE: Teachers training (Södertörn University) and secondary-level adult education in Romani

2. EMPLOYMENT

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2.1. Focus of measures

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Distribution of employment measures by relevance to the respective sub-areas of the Council Recommendation

Thematic sub-areaMS
Eliminate labour market barriers, including discriminationAT, BE, CY, CZ, EL, ES, HR, HU, LT, LU, NL, PT, RO, SK
Provide personalised guidance to individual job-seekersAT, BG, CZ, EL, ES, HU, HR, LV, LU, NL, RO, SI, SK
Support vocational training AT, BG, CY, ES, LV, LU, NL, RO, SK
Support lifelong learning and skills development AT, BG, ES, HR, HU, LV, LT, LU, NL, PT
Support self-employment and entrepreneurshipAT, BG, HR, CZ, EL, ES, HU, LT
Support first work experienceAT, BG, CY, CZ, EL, ES, HR,
Support on-the-job trainingBG, CZ, ES, HU, LV, LU, SK
Provide equal access to mainstream public employment servicesBG, HR, CZ, HU, LV, SK, ES, UK
Promote employment opportunities within the civil serviceEL, HU, NL, SK

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2.2. Achievements and challenges

In their reporting on 2017, several NRCPs referred to the positive impact of economic growth on the prospects for Roma employment21. But even more NRCPs referred to targeted measures, such as regional employment programmes (career-counselling, vocational or on-the-job training and job matching tailored to Roma or vulnerable job-seekers)22. Such measures are even more effective when Roma are involved as mediators, social workers, or other service providers.

21 BG, ES, HR

22 AT, BG, CZ, ES, FR, HR, HU, LV, NL, SK

NRCPs emphasise three main types of challenges: capacity of implementing structures 23 ; discrimination against Roma24; and attitudes and trust of Roma themselves25 .

23 AT, EL, PL, PT, SK

24 EE, ES, LT, LV, NL, PT, RO

25 BG, EE, FR, NL, PT

2.3. Policy learning

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Promising approaches:
٠ BG, CY, ES, IT, LV, NL, PT, SI: Regional or local employment programmes (individualised counselling) to promote active job-seeking or self-employment
٠ HU, EL, ES, FR: Targeted programmes to improve the employability of Roma women (in the social sector)
٠ IT, LT, HU: Examples of cooperation with employers for job placements for Roma and fighting stereotypes
٠ SK: Amendment of the Act on Public Employment Services providing for an individual action plan to support labour market integration binding the jobseeker and the labour office
٠ BE: Since 2016, Roma have access to the ‘integration path’ set up for people of foreign origin in Wallonia (courses on French language, basic knowledge of society; support to find employment and children’s schooling). Municipalities employ Roma mediators in public social assistance centres, prevention or proximity services
٠ HR: Ombudsman’s office gives antidiscrimination training to public employment officers and other civil servants
٠ UK: Race disparity audit and website to collect and disseminate information on discrimination in employment

3. HEALTH

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3.1. Focus of measures

Distribution of health measures by relevance to the respective sub-areas of the Council Recommendation

Thematic sub-areaMS
Remove barriers to healthcareAT, BE, BG, CZ, EL, ES, HR, HU, IT, RO, SE, SK, UK
Promote health awarenessAT, BG, CZ, EL, ES, HR, HU, IT, LV, NL, SE, SI, SK, UK,
Improve access to free vaccination programmes targeting children and groups most at riskAT, BG, EL, HR, HU, SK, UK
Improve access to medical check-ups, prenatal and postnatal care and family planningAT, ES, HU, SI, SK, UK

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3.2. Achievements and challenges

The achievements most often mentioned by NRCPs are: vaccination campaigns26; other prevention and detection programmes 27; improving hygiene, health conditions and access to healthcare 28 ; awareness raising29; health mediation30; and multi-stakeholder cooperation involving national and local authorities and civil society31. There was a notable lack of reference to antidiscrimination efforts; improving hygienic living conditions; and access to healthy food.

26 EL, FR, HU, HR

27 HU, PL, SI

28 AT, HU, RO

29 CZ, HU, LT, SI

30 FR, RO, SE, SK

31 BG, RO

Challenges reported include: lack of coordination and effective communication between the national and local levels; maintaining appropriate (national or EU) funding or staffing32; lack of self-consciousness on health matters 33; lack of health insurance coverage among Roma 34 ; and insufficient knowledge of health professionals on Roma issues.35 There was also concern about low vaccination rates among Roma, which in some countries are reported to contribute to higher premature mortality and morbidity rates36. Participation and empowerment of Roma in health care initiatives is considered challenging, also due to low literacy and language barriers37 .

32 EL, HU, LT, SE, RO

33 BG, CZ, EL, HR

34 BG, ES, HR, RO

35 AT, CZ,

36 ES, EL

37 BG, PL, SK

3.3. Policy learning

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Promising approaches:
٠ BG, CZ, DK, EL, FR, HU, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK: Training and employment of Roma health mediators (assistants, visitors, bridge builders) to promote Roma access to healthcare
٠ AT, BG, EL, FR, HU, HR, PL, SK, UK: Vaccination campaigns targeting Roma (girls, women), and those living in marginalised areas
٠ CZ, IT, RO, SI, SK: Long-term national health programmes, action plans, strategies
٠ ES: Ensuring Roma and civil participation in the design of health prevention and training programmes for social service professionals
٠ FI: Roma Wellbeing Study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare
٠ PT: Evidence-based planning of interventions to fight health inequalities of Roma, including information and awareness raising materials on teenage motherhood, paediatric follow-up and healthy eating habits
٠ LT: Health awareness seminars on preventive care, sexual and reproductive health and childcare targeting Roma women and youth

4. HOUSING

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4.1. Focus of measures

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Distribution of health measures by relevance to the respective sub-areas of the Council Recommendation

Thematic sub-areaMS
Ensure access to public utilities and infrastructure for housingBE, BG, CY, EL, ES, HR, RO, SI, SK, UK
Eliminate spatial segregation and promote desegregationAT, BE, BG, EL, ES, HU, IT, LT, RO, SK, UK
Promote non-discriminatory access to social housingAT, CZ, EL, ES, HU, IT, LT, LV, RO, SI, SK, UK
Ensure that urban regeneration projects include integrated housing interventions for marginalised communities BE, BG, ES, HR, HU, IT, SK
Promote community-led local development and/or integrated territorial investments supported by the ESIFES, HR, HU, IT
Provide halting sites for non-sedentiary RomaAT, UK

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4.2. Achievements and challenges

NRCPs reported that the most significant achievements were in access to social housing38. Another important cluster of achievements mentioned by several NRCPs was the elimination of slums and spatial segregation39. NRCPs also referred to results in the provision of halting sites40, access to public utilities (such as water, electricity and gas) and infrastructure for housing41; the legalisation of housing42; and in urban regeneration43 .

38 AT, CZ, EL, HU, LV, LT, PT, RO

39 ES, FR, HU, IT, LT

40 FR, NL

41 SI

42 HR

43 BG

Reported challenges include: spatial segregation44; barriers for Roma to access housing in the private sector45; as well as public support for and legislation on access to social housing46 .

44 BG, CY, ES, SK

45 ES, LT, LV, NL

46 CZ, BG

4.3. Policy learning

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Promising approaches:
٠ ES: Local and regional governments with NGO support have significantly reduced the prevalence of shanty towns over the past 15 years leading to desegregation as part of an integrated approach with sustainable improvements in education, health and employment
٠ CZ: ESIF support scaling up local ‘housing first’ initiatives, built on models of successful social housing pilot by local governments and social rental agency by NGOs, excluding housing in segregated areas (methodology to identify residential segregation piloted by the Ministry of Labour and 12 municipalities)
٠ EL: New regulations to promote: relocation from camps and settlements; improvement of infrastructure; creation of self-management and protection system of residential complexes; and rent subsidy for finding a home in integrated settings
٠ FR: Multi-stakeholder comprehensive ‘housing first’ approach in Toulouse to help Roma move from camps to integrated areas, accompanied by social support, literacy and other training, access to education, employment and healthcare
٠ SI: Public tenders for basic communal infrastructure (water, electricity, roads) targeting municipalities where Roma live
٠ LT: Desegregation process in the Kirtimai settlement in Vilnius by relocation combined with offer of social housing with subsidised rent to families with many children.
٠ SE: Guidance and training for landlords to increase knowledge and fight discrimination against Roma

II. FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND ANTIGYPSYISM

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1. Focus of measures

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Distribution of non-discrimination measures by relevance to the respective sub-areas of the Council Recommendation

Thematic sub-areaMS
Fight antigypsyism by raising awareness about the benefits of Roma integrationAT, BE, BG, CZ, ES, IT, LT, LV, PT, SK, SE
Fight antigypsyism by raising awareness on diversityAT, BE, BG, CZ, EE, ES, IT, LT, LV, PT, SE, SK
Fight antigypsyism by combatting Anti-Roma rhetoric and hate speechAT, BG, CZ, ES, HU, IT, LT, LV, SK, UK
Fight violence, including domestic violence, against women and girlsAT, ES, IT, NL
Fight (multiple) discrimination faced by children and women involving all relevant stakeholders AT, ES, IT, NL
Fight underage and forced marriages AT, NL
Ensure the effective practical enforcement of Directive 2000/43/ECCZ, HR, IT, LT
Fight trafficking in human beingsAT, HU
Implement desegregation measures regionally and locallyHU, NL, UK
Ensure that eviction are in full compliance with EU law and international human rights obligationsIT
Fight begging involving children, through the enforcement of legislationAT
Promote the cooperation between Member States in situations with cross-border dimensionAT

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2. Achievements and challenges

The achievements most often mentioned by NRCPs were: improving the conditions of Roma women and children47; combating antigypsyism by breaking stereotypes or promoting Roma culture and history 48 ; and involving all relevant actors (public authorities, civil society and Roma communities) in efforts to promote anti-discrimination49 .

47 BG, EE, ES, HU, HR, PT, SK

48 ES, FR, HU, LV

49 IT, ES, SI

Several NRCPs referred to challenges of improving access to legal protection and rights awareness50, as well as difficulties in fighting against stereotypes51 and improving the situation of Roma women and children.52 The mere fact that several Member States53 – including some with large Roma communities and several with very high rates of perceived discrimination among Roma – did not report any antidiscrimination measures underlines the gravity of challenges in this area.

50 AT, CZ, LT, PT

51 EE, ES, HR, LV

52 BG, ES, SK

53 CY, FR, EL, PL, RO

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Document data: 06.09.2019 Link [with annexes not quoted here]: https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/report-implementation-national-roma-integration-strategies-2019_en

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