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Implementing National Roma Integration Strategies and the Racial Equality Directive: Challenges and solutions for Equality Bodies

June 24th 2015

Equality Bodies (EBs) have a significant contribution to make in ensuring the effective implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and the Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED). This paper, by the European Roma Information Office (ERIO), is based on three workshops organised by ERIO with equality bodies from 20 member states. It outlines the role of Equality Bodies for an effective implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and the Racial Equality Directive (RED), as well as key challenges and potential solutions and recommendations to effectively protecting Roma against discrimination. Finally, it outlines good practices by Equality Bodies in effectively addressing Roma discrimination which have been elaborated during the workshops.

As a way to improve the integration of the 10-12 million Roma across Europe, in 2011 the European Commission adopted an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. Following the Framework, member states committed themselves to ensure equality and improving the socio-economic situation of Roma by delivering their National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). In December 2013, the Council recommendation on effective Roma integration measures was adopted. This contains a number of provisions which emphasise the necessity of Roma integration at the local level. Whilst some progress has been made, significant obstacles remain in securing the full social inclusion and equal treatment of Roma.
Although the Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED) has been transposed in all member states, its practical impact has been limited. Lack of awareness of anti-discrimination legislation and under-reporting amongst discrimination victims constitute particular barriers to achieving its full and effective implementation.

This paper, developed by Helen Gould, Marta Pinto and Ivan Ivanov outlines the key findings of three workshops organised by ERIO on the 30th October 2012, 27th September 2013 and 21st October 20146 with Equality Bodies from 20 member states.

  • Part 1 discusses the vital role of Equality Bodies for an effective implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and the Racial Equality Directive (RED).
  • Part 2 focuses on the key challenges and potential solutions to effectively protecting Roma against discrimination.
  • Part 3 provides a set of recommendations to the European Commission, member states, Equality Bodies and Roma civil society in order to secure greater practical enforcement of the NRIS and the RED.
  • Part 4 provides good practices of Equality Bodies in effectively addressing Roma discrimination which have been elaborated during the workshops.
  • Finally, Part 5 provides contact details for Equality Bodies.

Link to ERIO paper (2014), Implementing National Roma Integration Strategies and the Racial Equality Directive: Challenges and solutions for Equality Bodies