An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020

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The EU has made several proposals for Member States to promote the social and economic integration of Roma, most recently in its Communication of April 20108. Member States are already under an obligation to give Roma (like other EU citizens) non-discriminatory access to education, employment, vocational training, healthcare, social protection and housing through Directive 2000/43/EC. The rigorous monitoring of the implementation of this Directive can be a useful instrument for measuring the integration of Roma.

In spite of some progress achieved both in the Member States and at EU level over the past years, little has changed in the day-to-day situation of most of the Roma. According to the Commission's Roma Task Force findings11, strong and proportionate measures are still not yet in place to tackle the social and economic problems of a large part of the EU's Roma population.

To address this challenge, and since non-discrimination alone is not sufficient to combat the social exclusion of Roma, the Commission asks the EU institutions to endorse this EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. It is a means to complement and reinforce the EU's equality legislation and policies by addressing, at national, regional and local level, but also through dialogue with and participation of the Roma, the specific needs of Roma regarding equal access to employment, education, housing and healthcare.

This EU Framework seeks to make a tangible difference to Roma people's lives. It is the EU's response to the current situation and does not replace Member States' primary responsibility in this regard. With this EU Framework, the European Commission encourages Member States, in proportion to the size of the Roma population living in their territories and taking into account their different starting points, to adopt or to develop further a comprehensive approach to Roma integration and endorse the following goals.

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