EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies
The European Commission has noted that in spite of some progress achieved in Member States and at the EU policy level there has been little change in the day to day situation of most Roma. Strong and proportionate measures are yet to be put in place to tackle the economic and social issues faced by a large part of the EU’s Roma population. To this end, in 2011 the Commission published an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 with the aim of making a ‘tangible difference in Roma lives’ through coordinated action.
The Framework document required each Member State to draw up a national Roma integration strategy up to 2020 with specific actions and funding streams in areas of education, employment, health and housing. The strategies are required to have a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure concrete results for Roma; follow the ‘10 common basic principles on Roma inclusion’ by the Council of the European Union; and ‘[b]e designed, implemented and monitored in close cooperation and continuous dialogue with Roma civil society, regional and local authorities’. The Commission monitors Member States’ efforts in advancing Roma inclusion through an annual reporting process. The Commission also has an obligation to report on the implementation and advancing Roma integration under the Council Recommendation on Roma integration measures (adopted in December 2013).
Ireland’s National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy
In this context Ireland has developed a new national Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) 2017 – 2021. The new national Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy is to be monitored by the National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy Steering Group. Chaired by the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, the NTRIS steering group is comprised of department officials, and Traveller and Roma civil society representatives. A Roma working group, established in June 2016 as the first national level structure with Roma representation from across the country, will also play a role in monitoring the implementation of the NTRIS.
Campaign for a progressive National Strategy
Pavee Point have campaigned for a revised progressive and inclusive National Traveller Roma Integration Strategy since 2012 when Ireland’s first strategy was developed. A strategy should incorporate the recommendations of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020; and the 10 Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion. This should include:
- Achievable national goals with targets for Traveller and Roma inclusion. These goals should address, as a minimum, the four EU Roma integration goals relating to access to education, employment, healthcare and housing;
- Actions to explicitly address racism towards Roma and Travellers and include measures to address gender inequality; and
- Clear objectives, actions, impact indicators, time frames, clear lines of responsibility, funding mechanisms and strong inclusive monitoring and evaluation methods.
We undertake the following actions:
- Make recommendations for the content of Ireland’s National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy
- Make annual submissions to the European Commission as part of its assessment of National Roma Strategies
- Maintain alliances with Roma civil society throughout Europe to progress Roma and Traveller rights.
- Keep informed of European Commission guidance and reports.