(09 December 2013) – All 28 European Union Member States today committed to implementing a set of recommendations, proposed by the European Commission, to step up the economic and social integration of Roma communities.
The Council Recommendation was adopted unanimously by ministers meeting in the Council less than six months after the Commission’s proposal. It is the first ever EU-level legal instrument for Roma inclusion. With the adoption of the Recommendation Member States commit to taking targeted action to bridge the gaps between the Roma and the rest of the population.
The Recommendation focuses on the four areas: access to education, employment, healthcare and housing. To put in place the targeted actions, it asks Member States to allocate not only EU but also national and third sector funds to Roma inclusion – a key factor identified by the Commission in its evaluation of Member States’ national strategies last year.
In addition, it gives guidance to Member States on cross-cutting policies for Roma integration, such as ensuring that the strategies go local, enforcing anti-discrimination rules, following a social investment approach, protecting Roma children and women and addressing poverty.