The Roma EU citizens are one of the most marginalised groups in the EU, facing deep and intractable social problems related to low levels of education, high unemployment, inadequate housing, poor health, and wide-ranging discrimination, all of which are interrelated and create a viscous circle of social exclusion from which it is difficult to extract themselves on their own.
Social inclusion of the Roma in line with EU values, laws and principles is needed to prevent ethnic tensions rising, and in order to provide better life chances and improved access to facilities and public services, ensuring a decent quality of life for all Roma EU citizens.
This study presents a critical assessment of the national action plans, measures and instruments designed to actively promote the situation of Roma EU citizens in the EU, focusing in particular on the situation in six new member states, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia and six old member states, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
It explores the institutional and legal framework put in place in the Member States to promote the actions and national policies, considering shortcomings and failures as well as the positive aspects and successes. Through an investigation of legal instruments and policies which can be used and put in place at the EU level, the Study presents a number of practical policy recommendations for the facilitation of Roma integration and for furthering cooperation between Member States.