Roma Integration: Commission framework considerable step in the right direction

Roma Integration: Commission framework considerable step in the right direction

2011. 04. 05.

The document proposes the appointment of national contact points for the national Roma integration strategies; anticipates the simplification of funding procedures; and calls on putting in place a robust monitoring mechanism with clear benchmarks to ensure that tangible results are measured. "It is also very important that the framework introduces the mapping of disadvantaged micro-regions and segregated neighbourhoods", pointed out the Hungarian MEP. The new strategy undertakes the task of assessing national plans right after their submission and to report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on progress on the integration of the Roma population in Member States and on the achievement of the goals.

"The document is of course not flawless and could be much bolder in many ways but it is a considerable step in the right direction", said the only MEP of Roma origin in the European Parliament. "From now on, it will be up to the Member States to make their pledges by adopting the strategy and to realise these goals under the scrutiny of the Parliament and the Commission. This Friday, we will celebrate the 40th International Roma Day in Budapest at the fifth session of the European Roma Platform and I believe that this anniversary will mark a milestone in the process of developing an EU-coordinated and locally-implemented action plan for the social inclusion of Roma", she added.

"It has become clear over recent months that there is a need for action on the Roma issue. Member States have to develop strategies to meet the Roma's needs and to solve their problems. I think that education is a major area where we need more effort. All children in the EU have a right to opportunities", said Manfred Weber MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group.