Mid-term evaluation of the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies up to 2020
This summary presents the key conclusions of the mid-term evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS), referred to from here onwards as the ‘EU Framework’. The EU Framework was adopted in 2011 and its main objectives were to tackle poverty, social exclusion, and discrimination of the Roma by promoting their equal access to education, employment, health and housing in the EU and in enlargement countries. The Framework set four key objectives (referred to as Roma integration goals) that Member States were invited to endorse: ensure that all Roma children... complete primary school, close the gaps between Roma and non-Roma in respect to employment, health status, and access to housing and public utilities (water, electricity). It recommended structural preconditions (such as the existence of a National Roma Integration Strategy) and specific measures per policy area to be taken by the Member States to achieve the Roma integration goals. The 2013 Enlargement Strategy further identified access to civil documentation an important issue that needs to be addressed. The mid-term evaluation covers the 2011-2017 period. It assesses the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, coordination, equity, sustainability and the EU added value of EU Framework. It is based on a desk review of secondary literature, reports and databases; eleven in-depth country studies; interviews with experts in sixteen other EU Member States and at the EU level, and in enlargement countries; an Open Public Consultation, a survey of NGOs; and a validation workshop with stakeholders from the EU and enlargement countries. The EU Framework encouraged Member States and enlargement countries to adopt a comprehensive approach to Roma integration and socio-economic inclusion, to mainstream Roma inclusion into policy, legal and funding instruments, to adopt National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS), to setup coordination, consultation, and monitoring mechanisms. The present analysis showed that the EU Framework objectives set in 2011 were appropriate to the needs of Roma at the time. The objectives in respect to health, housing, and employment continue to be relevant today. However, some factors have limited the relevance of the EU Framework. While emphasis on primary and compulsory education is important, the education objectives lacked ambition, and would better correspond to the needs of Roma if they addressed early childhood education and care (ECEC) as well as transition to secondary education and secondary education enrolment. Anti-discrimination and anti-Gypsyism, which are on a rise, were also insufficiently addressed. The needs of some sub-groups, namely children, women, EU-mobile Roma and third county Roma migrants were also insufficiently considered.