ERGO Network feedback on Commission Roadmap

ERGO Network written feedback on the Roadmap published by DG Justice on 17 Feb 2020. An initiative setting out the EU post-2020 Roma equality and inclusion policy

ERGO strongly welcomes the Roadmap by the European Commission setting out the post-2020 EU Roma equality and inclusion policy, which builds on the previous EU Roma Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS).

The major challenge of the previous EU Framework was its non-binding character, which gave the liberty to Member States to decide whether and how to design their NRIS. Therefore, in its written feedback, ERGO Network called for a comprehensive and binding EU Strategy for Roma inclusion and antigypsyism, which has concrete minimum standards and ambitious targets, including overall common indicators and measuring impact, as well as a joint monitoring process between Member States and the European Commission. The new Strategy should be fully integrated in the European Semester, and work in synergy with the successor of Europe 2020, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

ERGO demanded for a post-2020 EU Roma Strategy and NRIS that put combating antigypsyism at their centre and ensure cross-cutting priorities within, such as antigypsyism, intersectional discrimination, poverty, material deprivation, housing evictions, discrimination, child protection, gender mainstreaming, LGBTQI+, environmental racism, diversity within Roma groups, Roma participation, Roma identity and cultural heritage.

Combating antigypsyism through the existing anti-discrimination legislation is not enough. The four key areas of NRIS should end any form of structural antigypsyism, including all forms of segregation, forced evictions, environmental injustice and other manifestations of prejudice, including in education, employment, health and housing and other relevant areas mentioned above. The next EU Roma Strategy must demand all Member States to formally recognise antigypsyism as a specific form of racism against Roma beyond the general ground already embedded in the EU and national legislation related to “race or ethnicity”.

ERGO Network calls for introducing EU and national measurable anti-discrimination indicators in the key areas of education, employment, housing and health, in addition to social inclusion programmes, including ambitious targets and concrete objectives, that must be monitored on an annual basis. Indicators should also be structural, showing legislative, policy and practical changes and their impact on institutions as a way to address structural and institutional racism and discrimination. In addition, indicators should meet the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Social Pillar etc. The Strategy should also contain a clear methodology on how Member States can collect ethnic data on Roma, in line with Race Equality Directive and GDPR.

Finally, ERGO demanded that the Roadmap ensures Roma participation at all levels throughout the entire process, in line with Art 11 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

For more information, please contact Jamen Gabriela Hrabaňová, ERGO Network Director, at g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org.