EUROCITIES has conducted a mapping study in 23 large cities in Europe, which have big Roma populations. The findings from the mapping study are presented in a comprehensive report that reveals the situation of Roma inclusion at local level.
The report examines the challenges that Roma face in cities with regards to their access to employment, housing, healthcare, education and basic services. The report also explores how cities respond to these challenges, what initiatives they put in place, how they engage with Roma and what support they need to be able to further Roma inclusion.
The mapping’s key findings were:
- The situation of Roma in cities in Europe remains critical. Roma people are generally at greater disadvantage than the overall population in cities. Roma are often caught in a vicious circle that is powered by discrimination and lack of employment opportunities.
- Most cities in the study host multiple, distinct Roma communities like autochthonous Roma, long-term resident Roma and recently-arrived Roma from the 2004 enlargement. The situation of newly-arrived Roma is generally worse than that of domestic Roma.
- More than half of cities have in place a local Roma integration strategy while others cover Roma as part of their mainstream strategies against poverty.
- Nearly all cities in the study have structures in place to engage with Roma, like local Roma councils or consultation platforms or Roma mediators.
- Cities are aware that more needs to be done to address the complex challenges that Roma people face and ask for more support from national and EU authorities.
The mapping identified five success factors for any city initiative for Roma inclusion:
- an integrated and coordinated approach involving multiple agencies and stakeholders
- a combination of area-based and people-based solutions
- a participatory approach to engaging Roma from the very start and throughout the project
- a strong partnership between the municipality and Roma NGOs
- funding secured for implementation post pilot phase
- Tackle the root cause of all obstacles Roma face, which is discrimination.
- Improve the allocation and channeling of EU and national funding to city-led measures for Roma inclusion at local level.
- Empower the participation of Roma people in the policies that directly affect them.
- Improve evidence and knowledge about the situation of Roma.
- Include Roma integration as part of a broader strategy to address intra-EU poverty migration.