Friday

26th May 2017

EU failing on Roma rights

  • Roma children face a daunting future in Europe (Photo: Council of Europe)

EU and member states are failing to help Roma communities, with some 80 percent still facing the risk of poverty.

A report on Tuesday (29 November) by the Vienna-based Agency for Fundamental Rights reveals one in three live in households with no tap water, while one in ten has no electricity.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The figures reveal the failure of repeated integration goals, from the EU commission in 2011 and EU states in 2013.

Agency director Michael O’Flaherty, in a statement, described the deprivation and discrimination against the Roma as a "grave failure of law and policy in the EU and its member states."

"Our manifest inability in Europe to honour the human rights of our Roma communities is unacceptable," he said.

The report surveyed some 25,000 people across all EU states. Of those, almost 8,000 were Roma, Europe's largest minority group.

The face-to-face interviews reveal national and EU-led efforts to increase employment, education, housing and healthcare have a long way to go.

Almost the entire Roma population in Spain, 98 percent, have an income below the national poverty threshold, followed by Greece at 96 percent and Croatia with 93 percent.

And at least a quarter of those interviewed said someone in their household had gone to bed hungry in the past month.

The report notes that the 2013 EU goal to reduce poverty through social investment "is far from being reached".

2013 commission guidelines to address Roma child poverty and social exclusion have also failed to achieve results.

Few Roma children attend pre-school or kindergarten in Greece and Slovakia. Those between 7 to 15 also have restricted access to education, when compared to non-Roma and just under half of those between 15 to 18 don't attend any school at all.

Most Roma in Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria find themselves in segregated schools, despite laws which make it illegal.

One in ten Roma children living in Greece and Romania are working instead of going to school.

The report notes that the vast majority of Roma still have no idea about state structures set up to help them deal with discrimination.

Yet the results are still marginally better when compared to a similar survey carried out in 2012 by the agency in 11 EU states, which revealed that 90 percent of those interviewed were at risk of poverty.

Children among dead in UK bomb attack

Children are among the victims after a suspected suicide bomber detonated at the Manchester Arena on Monday, the latest in a string of terror attacks to hit Europe.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

News in Brief

  1. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  2. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  3. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  4. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  5. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  6. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  7. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  8. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms