Improving conditions for the Roma

In the ongoing challenging economic context, inequalities are increasing with many of the disadvantaged in society falling even more behind. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to improving conditions for the Roma and promoting social inclusion across central and southern Europe.
13/07/2012 - The estimated 10-12 million Roma population is Europe’s largest ethnic minority and also one of its most vulnerable groups. A survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (2012) covering 11 EU countries shows that one in three Roma is unemployed, 20% are without health insurance and 90% live below national poverty lines.
In February 2012, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report showing how discrimination and human rights abuses against Roma are widespread. The EU acknowledges this challenge and, as of 2012, all member states are obliged to provide strategies for social inclusion and the improvement of the situation for Roma.

Roma inclusion in the EEA and Norway Grants

Roma inclusion is an important horizontal concern for the EEA and Norway Grants, in line with and complementary to the national Roma inclusion strategies. Where relevant and possible, Roma inclusion is included in the programmes that are now being established in 15 EU countries.
Programmes that include initiatives to improve the situation for the Roma are being established in 9 EU countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Several of these countries have large Roma minority populations. In Bulgaria and Romania, 10% of the programme funding is earmarked to support improvement of the situation of Roma minorities.