ERGO Network Response: European Court of Auditors Report ‘EU policy initiatives and financial support for Roma integration’ addresses Antigypsyism but more concrete measures needed.

28 June 2016
Brussels, 28 June 2016
ERGO Network welcomes the European Court of Auditors Report ‘EU policy initiatives and financial support for Roma integration’. The report declares that “significant progress is made over the last decade, but additional efforts are needed on the ground”. Roma, the largest EU minority, have suffered and are still victims of discrimination, and “are mostly marginalised”.
The EU Court of Auditors found that the Commission has made progress in setting out EU policy initiatives promoting Roma integration, but all this came too late to have an impact on programmes and projects for 2007-2013 and a number of shortcomings remain. The EU Court of Auditors concern the level of funding needed, the lack of attention to anti-discrimination and antigypsyism and the need for more active participation by the Roma.
For 2014 to 2020, the report sees some improvements, but according to ERGO Network these are insufficient. We fully support the first recommendation that Member States should (a) indicate the funding available to ensure that efforts to implement measures in favour of Roma integration; (b) include indicators and target values which deal with antigypsyism; (c) ensure that civil society organisations are systematically consulted and included in measures targeting them.
We support the conclusion that “selection and implementation of projects should be done in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Council, the so-called Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion, which have been adopted by the council”. ERGO believes that these principles should have been the core of the design and implementation of the European Roma Framework and National Roma Integration Strategies.
However, most recommendations made by the Court of Auditors are still not addressing the root cause of the exclusion of Roma, namely that of Antigypsyism. Smart methodologies are needed to monitors the outreach and quality of EU funding to Roma inclusion while taking into account the exclusion mechanism. Not only indicators for measuring antigypsyism “in the design of measures promoting the inclusion of marginalised Roma communities within the ESIF framework, in line with the requirements of the Racial Equality Directive” should be in place and be the back-bone of the EU policies and programmes. Also, Roma dedicated funding should be available for genuine involvement of Roma civil society to fight antigypsyism and to keep governments accountable for their performance. The Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion give the necessary guidance for such measures. You can download this statement here.
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