by ERIO on March 20th, 2018

​On Thursday 15, March 2018, ERIO met with various stakeholders at the European Commission to discuss the mid-term Evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. This paper is based on public consultations with national organisations and surveys conducted in 11 countries. Several points were discussed during the worshop including the effectiveness of the EU framework, the added value of EU actions compared with what the situation would have been if national governements had acted on their own, the relevance of the EU framework to Roma inclusion needs and finally the coherence between the EU and the national frameworks.

There was unanimous agreement that the EU Framework had contributed to place Roma issues high on national political agenda and to empower civil society at the national level. Among the key achievements of the EU framework, progress in access to education from Roma children  was highlighted, with 90% of Roma children now completing primary compulsory education. These good numbers should not however hide the fact that there was a rise in segregated classes where all classmates are Roma. Evaluation stressed however that there was no or little progress in employment, health and housing and that the action of the EU needs to be strengthen in these areas.

Stackholders present at the workshop also voiced major concerns about continuous anti-Gypsiysm, often fuelled by far-right governments themselves. To recognize anti-Gypsyism as a specific form of racism and to adopt measures to tackle it would enable progress in the four main areas the EU framework is targetting (education, housing, employment and health) said participants. Among other recommendations were the need to strengthen conditionality through a better monitoring, reporting and measuring, and better implementation of the integration strategies at the national level. Finally the need for a new Roma inclusion strategy after 2020 was underlined as participants feared a tremendous backslide in Roma inclusion if the EU were to stop its action.

by ERIO on March 20th, 2018

​On March, 12 2018, ERIO participated in a meeting with EU level human rights networks organized by the UN Human Rights Office for Europe. At the invitation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, twelve umbrella organisations met to discuss how to influence the EU decision-makers to strengthen the human rights dimension in the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework post-2020, currently discussed at EU level. There is common agreement that proper budgeting and allocation of EU funds would be strong tools to close the human rights gaps in Europe. It was discussed that a core principle of EU policy-making is the concept of “European Added Value“. According to the latter, the EU should act by legislating, policy making and funding in areas in which it adds value to the action of its Member States. Participants linked the discussion with the objectives of the EU Cohesion policy and what they could propose for the next Multi-Annual Financial period. ERIO’s executive director Ivan Ivanov emphasized the issues linked to Roma discrimination and stressed that the European Commission should pay attention to the ex-ante conditionality as a factor having direct impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of specific goals for EU’s post 2020 investment priorities. One of these priorities strongly linked to Roma rights would be strengthening diversity and inclusion and combating segregation in education, housing, health care and employment.

by ERIO on June 7th, 2017

APPEL: ​Formation pour médiateurs roms sur les entreprises sociales ​à Bruxelles

ERIO cherche 7 médiateurs roms pour participer à une formation qui fait partie d’un projet qui vise à résoudre le défi de l’inclusion économique et sociale des communautés roms en appliquant le concept de l’économie sociale comme solution innovante pour réduire le risque de pauvreté et en encourageant l’entrepreneuriat social. La formation sera de 24 heures à Bruxelles et les inscriptions sont ouvertes jusqu’au 18 juin.

Quel est le contenu de la formation ?
L’objectif de la formation SERCo est de fournir aux médiateurs roms les compétences nécessaires pour soutenir la planification, la création et la viabilité d’entreprises sociales au sein de la communauté rom.
La formation a quatre modules :

  1. Module 1: Qu'est-ce qu'une entreprise sociale, pourquoi elle est pertinente pour les roms et quelles idées commerciales peuvent-elles remplir?
  2. Module 2: Quel est le rôle du médiateur rom?
  3. Module 3: Surmonter les obstacles à l'entrepreneuriat social
  4. Module 4: Planification, établissement et maintien d'une entreprise sociale en pratique. Comment un mentor peut-il aider? 
La formation aura trois phases :

  1. La première phase - Formation de 7 médiateurs roms (23 juin-12 juillet 2017)
  2. La deuxième phase - Chacun des 7 médiateurs roms formées dans la première phase, formeront 4 autres roms (aout-septembre 2017)
  3. La troisième phase - De ces 4 roms formés dans la deuxième phase, si quelqu'un est intéressé, il/elle recevra un mentorat individuel sur comment établir une entreprise sociale (octobre 2017) 

La formation s’agit d’une série de modules de 24 heures au total, accompagnée par des professionnels qui tiendra lieu entre le 23 juin et 12 juillet à Bruxelles.
Quels sont les avantages ?
Si vous participez à cette formation, vous pourriez bénéficier des atouts suivants :

  • Vous pourriez accroître vos chances d’avoir votre emploi de rêve, en particulier à travers la création de votre propre entreprise sociale
  • Cette expérience sera un atout à ajouter sur votre CV
  • Vous aurez un certificat de participation à la fin de la formation
  • Vous pourriez améliorer vos compétences sociales, communicatives et autres
  • Vous recevrez une bourse d’études pour participer à la formation et si vous assister régulièrement* (première phase), former d’autres roms (deuxième phase) et accompagnement individuel (troisième phase)
  • Tous les frais de transport liés à cette formation seront remboursés 

Qui participe à la formation ?
La première phase de la formation sera avec un groupe de 7 médiateurs roms. Vous pouvez participer si vous avez:
  • plus de 18 ans
  • terminé au moins l'école primaire
  • une connaissance de base du français
  • une expérience comme médiateur ou de faire des formations

Aimeriez-vous participer à cette formation ou connaissez-vous quelqu'un qui pourrait être intéressé ?
Veuillez envoyer un e-mail à ou vous pouvez également nous joindre par téléphone au 02 733 34 62.  Les inscriptions sont ouvertes jusqu’au 18 juin.

*Cette bourse est seulement disponible pour les 7 médiateurs roms qui participeront à la première phase de la formation et après formerons d’autres roms. 

by ERIO on September 29th, 2016

On the 29 September, ERIO attended a meeting organised by the Belgian National Roma Platform, which was launched in May 2016. The topic of the meeting was Roma’s access to healthcare. The aim of the meeting was to formulate recommendations for policy makers and which can provide some input for the evaluation of the National Roma Integration Strategy.

During the meeting, ERIO stressed the need to ensure the participation of Roma in the full process related to the national strategies and any policy relevant for Roma which is currently non-existent in the Belgian context. Since the aim of the Belgian National Roma Platform is to trigger the dialogue with all stakeholders and Roma communities in Belgium, this is a requirement that needs to be improved and respected. Small interactive group discussions between participants took place to discuss what is currently working and missing in Belgium in terms of Roma’s access to healthcare and what can be done to improve the situation.

Other thematic meetings focusing on education, housing and employment will take place until the end of the year.

To find out more about the Belgian National Roma Platform, visit their website here.

by John Trajer, ERIO on September 20th, 2016

The European Parliament (EP) has published a study “Obstacles to the right of free movement and residence for EU citizens and their families: Comparative analysis” assessing compliance with selected provisions of Directive 2004/38/EC (pertaining to the right of free movement and residence for EU citizens and their families) in nine EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK).

This document, commissioned by the EP’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs (at the request of the LIBE and PETI Committees), synthesises nine in-depth studies conducted by national experts in each of the selected Member States. It covers both the transposition and practical implementation of selected provisions of the Free Movement Directive, building on the 2008 European Commission report and the 2009 Study commissioned by the European Parliament. It also offers a number of recommendations for the European Parliament, the European Commission, and EU Member States.

The stated aim of the study is to identify “the main persisting barriers to free movement” for EU citizens and their family members. Its key findings state that Article 14 (on the retention of the right to residence) and Article 27 (on restrictions to entry and residence on grounds of public policy, security and health) are the most problematic provisions of the Directive in the nine Member States.

Under “legal or practical instances of discrimination” in accessing the rights guaranteed by the Directive, the Roma are identified as a “particularly vulnerable” ethnic group in some Member States. Discrimination is reported in access to employment, education, financial services, housing and social protection. Roma have also been prevented from registering in other Member States, or from living in caravans, and this has resulted in evictions, expulsions and deportations.

The study provides numerous examples of Roma discrimination in these areas across the sample of national studies. It also highlights how these discriminatory obstacles directly contravene a number of provisions of EU legislation, namely Article 24 of the Directive (pertaining to equal treatment of non-nationals), Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (pertaining to non-discrimination), and Article 10 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.

You can read the full report here.

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