On June 27 2016 the European Commission published their Communication on the implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies in 2015 and reviews, for the first time, Roma integration measures put in place under the Council Recommendation 2013. The report is based on information submitted by Member States about their efforts made to integrate Roma, supplemented by input from civil society. ERGO Network concludes that the report clearly indicates a lack of action in crucial areas – also in those Member States with a significant number of Roma. Therefore, ERGO Network supports the urgent call of the European Commission on Member States to address the key priorities and step up their efforts.
In this note we present a brief examination of the European Commission’s (EC) assessment and indicate how it can be used by Roma Civil Society in their national advocacy.
The 2016 report consists of two parts: a summary ‘Communication’ – which presents a brief overview of the measures reported by the Member States, in thematic order- and a ‘staff working document’ that presents country-by-country assessments and highlights examples of practices in the various thematic areas.
In the country fiches the European Commission presents the information provided by the Member States along with its own assessment. In many cases, the assessment is critical and points to a lack of action or indicates that Member States still face considerable challenges to realize the potential of the measures they reported. Therefore, although in the first part of the report (the ‘communication’) the overview tables appear praise the Member States for taking certain measures, a closer look at the individual assessment of each country’s performance, shows a much more critical perspective. This critical perspective is also clearly reflected in the Conclusions (pp. 16 – 18) that call on the Member States to urgently address a number of key priorities.
In this note, ERGO Network points to a number of conspicuous gaps in Member States’ performance. Also, we present some critical remarks on the reporting process and framework. It aims to invite ERGO Network members and other civil society actors to highlight the Commission’s assessment and recommendations before national governments, and to attentively read the country-fiches (pp. 37 – 98) to verify the information reported by Member States and, where necessary, supplement the Commission’s assessment with additional critical notes.
Find the full report here: Member states need to step up their efforts