Antigypsyism is the specific racism towards Roma, Sinti, Travellers and others who are stigmatized as ‘gypsies’ in the public imagination. Antigypsyism is not only widespread, but also deeply entrenched in social and cultural attitudes and institutional practice. This makes the challenge of tackling it both more urgent and more difficult.
Roma poverty and social exclusion
With 80% of Roma living at risk of poverty, 63% of Roma aged 16-24 not employed, in education or training and only 43% of Roma aged 20-64% in paid work, the Roma are the most disadvantaged and socially excluded minority in Europe.
EU Roma Strategic Framework
Since 2011 ERGO Network is a key player lobbying for an effective implementation of the European Commission’s EU Roma Framework. Since 2018 ERGO Network led Roma and pro-Roma civil society in common advocacy towards the new EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation up to 2030, which was presented by the European Commission in 2020 and adopted through EU Council Recommendations in March 2021.
The EU Framework has put Roma inclusion on the agenda at European and national level, enabling instruments and structures to implement national frameworks resulting from it. In addition, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) are key financial and political instruments to promote Roma inclusion and to develop the national frameworks, representing an unprecedented opportunity to foster the alignment between the financial and the policy side of Roma equality, inclusion and participation.
ERGO Network members are active on the grassroots level, enabling local Roma communities to become change agents through meaningful participation in local decision-making processes that can bring immediate changes to their living situation.
Strengthening Roma civil society participation in decision-making at grassroots, national and European level is a key part of ERGO Network’s mission. We do so by bringing Roma voices from the grassroots to the EU level, by empowering national Roma civil society organisations to become stronger, to build coalitions and effectively advocate for Roma on the national level, and by building the knowledge, skills and confidence of young Roma activists.