EURoma Network – work and activities
The “European Network on Social Inclusion and Roma under the Structural Funds” (EURoma Network) is an initiative launched in 2007 by the Spanish Government (Spanish European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authority) in cooperation with the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), which has led the Technical Secretariat.
The Network aims to promote the use of Structural Funds for the inclusion of the Roma population and as a result enhancing the effectiveness of policies targeting the Roma community. To this end, it gathers, under the leadership of the Spanish ESF Managing Authority, Managing Authorities (or delegated Intermediate Bodies/ Implementing Authorities) and National Roma Contact Points from fifteen Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden.
EURoma was created in the context of the 2007-2013 Structural Funds programming period, which increased the scope of transnational cooperation between public authorities and civil society actors, and in light of:
- The need to guarantee the fundamental rights of the Roma population;
- The enlargement of the European Union through the incorporation of the countries with the highest concentration of Roma populations;
- The fact that Structural Funds, and particularly the ESF, were identified as the main financial instruments for the implementation, by Member States, of policies fostering social inclusion, cohesion and employment opportunities;
- The limited impact of the Structural Funds on Roma (e.g. scarce knowledge on how to address Roma inclusion in the Operational Programmes and how to actually reach Roma in the implementation);
- The Spanish experience of effectively using the ESF for the inclusion of the Roma.
Within this framework, EURoma started its work to achieve, through mutual learning, knowledge generation and awareness-raising among relevant stakeholders, an increased and more effective use of Structural Funds (notably ESF but also other funds) for Roma inclusion.
Over these eight years, the Network has become a fundamental actor at European level as regards the inclusion of Roma population and Structural Funds. It has developed a wide range of actions to achieve this goal and contributed to the implementation of the 2007-2013 programming period and to the advances in the 2014-2020 period, including the incorporation of an explicit investment priority on Roma under ESF (IP 9.2. ‘Socioeconomic integration of marginalised communities such as the Roma’). Today, the Roma population is more present in Operational Programmes than in previous programming periods: Roma are targeted largely and in a broad number of OPs and there has been a convergence in terms of approaches and methodologies to make a more efficient use of the funds.
EURoma Technical Secretariat – Fundación Secretariado Gitano