New initiatives for the success of national roma strategies

The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee held an exchange of views with Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission. MEP Lívia Járóka asked the Commissioner about the revision of the 2000/43 race directive and the assessment of national Roma inclusion strategies.

Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship visited the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament to exchange views on the mid-term review of the Stockholm programme. Lívia Járóka, rapporteur of the EU strategy on Roma inclusion asked the Commissioner about the planned revision of the 2000/43 directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. Járóka reminded that the Commission had reviewed the national implementation of the directive before, but most of the findings identified had not since been remedied by Member States. Furthermore, Járóka asked Reding to what extent the Commission was planning to be critical towards the professional and financial foundation of the national strategies.

In her reply Reding confirmed that the Commission will review in detail the implementation of the 2000/43 directive and will also initiate actions if necessary. In addition, the Commissioner told that the submitted national Roma strategies were in large part far from reality and referred to two initiatives in order to urge more effective performance. First, the Network of National Contact Points has been formed and second, a pilot group of Member States has been established, and both bodies will analyse the gaps of specific programmes launched in the fields of education, employment, housing and health care. Based on these findings, a Council Recommendation will be adopted, beside the usual annual evaluation of the Commission – Reding said.