Data collected and research finalization

Education and Employment: the situation of Roma in 8 EU Member States, 2016

 Authors: Eleftheria PITA, Kostas KONSTANTINOU, ANATOLIKI S.A


Roma people are the largest ethnic minority in the European Union (EU) and have for centuries constituted an integral part of European society. But despite efforts at national, European and international level to improve the protection of their fundamental rights and advance their social integration, many Roma still face severe poverty, profound social exclusion, barriers to exercising their fundamental rights and discrimination. These problems affect their access to quality education, which, in turn, undermines their employment and income prospects, housing conditions and health status, curbing their overall ability to fully exploit their potential.  Ethnic segregation is influenced by factors ranging from residential characteristics to anti Roma prejudice. Whatever the reasons, from a human rights perspective any ethnic segregation is unacceptable. In a time of economic crisis affecting everyone in the EU, we cannot afford not to promote equal treatment and social inclusion. Persisting discrimination and marginalisation can result in the loss of the skills and talent that could help bring us out of this crisis. The problems faced by Roma are complex and therefore require an integrated approach – low educational attainment, labour market barriers, segregation in education and poor health outcomes must all be addressed simultaneously. The EU has an important role to play in implementing such change, by improving legislation against discrimination, coordinating policy, setting common integration goals and allocating funding. National, regional and, especially, local governments are also responsible for making change happen. However, political alone is not enough. It must be matched by the knowledge of what works and what does not and by reliable monitoring tools capable of capturing the results achieved and their determinants.  PAL’s contribution is to make Roma inclusion efforts more targeted and inclusive by gathering data and testing novel approaches involving Roma communities at local, regional and international level.

The current study is prepared for the needs of the PAL project from ANAYOLIKI SA and due detailed analysis of 455 questionnaires in 15 countries.  The structure of this study is composed of four parts. The first part of the study includes a brief presentation of the PAL-project, a reference to the partner of the project, ANATOLIKI S.A., which is responsible for implementation of the analysis of the gathered questionnaires, the purpose of the study. At the end of first part a brief reference to Roma discrimination and social exclusion faced by focusing on the difficulties for equitable access to education and employment is presented. The second part presents the methodology of primary field study to record Roma current situation by using a special questionnaire, which is to collect primary data from the target group, Roma residents of the nine participating in pal project countries. Specifically, it presents the definition of the statistical population, sampling, sample size, the method of data collection, namely the questionnaire. The third part presents in detail the educational and employment situation of Roma respondents in the nine  partners’ (9) countries. The demographic characteristics of the Roma population in the areas of the study, their marital status, place and type of residence, the level of their education and the difficulties encountered,  issues regarding the employment status of Roma, the type of their employment, the level of unemployment and any discrimination against them are some of the topics that are recorded. In the fourth part of the study a presentation of the general conclusions of the primary research, analysis and a comparative recording of the differences and similarities between countries is done




  Authors: Soler Penadés, Víctor (coord.); Corell Doménech, Mavi (coord.); Uixera Cotano, Laura; Campos Aparicio, M. Carmen – FLORIDA UNIVERSITÀRIA (Catarroja, Spain)


Equality is one of the EU core values. Both EU law and Europe’s Human Rights Frameworks are guided by an interest in guaranteeing this principle and prohibiting discriminatory measures. All kind of law should be secured without discrimination on any ground (sex, ethnicity, colour, religion, language, national origin, social status, etcetera). In fact, according to the Race Equality Directive implemented in many of the national laws, there are legal remedies for those who feel discriminated and suffer from infringements of European anti-discrimination law. In this sense, the Roma are provided with legal recourse and protected as a minority at risk of social exclusion, at least when being officially considered EU citizens, that is to say, when having a national passport or comparable recognition from any EU country. Note that there is a large variety of situations regarding legal background of Roma.

The following report has been elaborated as a part of the project PAL ‘Fighting discrimination and anti-Gypsyism in education and employment in EU’, co-funded by the Right, Equality and Citizenship (CER) Programme of the DG Justice of the European Union. The project PAL has been led in cooperation of 20 partners from 9 countries and born in order to speed up Roma integration in terms of education and employment, as well as support the implementation of strategies which make national Roma inclusion and the Council Recommendation of Roma Integration real and effective.

Understanding the nature and impact of the exclusion of Roma population is a difficult issue, considering the lack of statistics in most EU countries. The task of determining exactly how many Roma are living in them is impossible, considering the term ‘Roma’ refers to ethnicity, not to nationality, which means that their registration is based on their country of origin, not ethnic origin. Generally speaking, it is conceptually difficult to define who belongs to Roma population and who do not: Those who consider themselves as such? Those who are considered by others as Roma? What is more, to what extent should a case in which only one of the relatives is Roma (a parent, a grandparent…) be considered as Roma? At this respect, this issue has evident blurred limits.

However, according to a number of studies (such as the one conducted by Awouters, Jans & Jans, 2012), even though there are no relevant statistics, there are grounds for believing that the socio-economic circumstances surrounding the Roma involve a situation of poverty and a real risk of social exclusion, in terms of access to basic services (e.g. education, employment, decent housing, healthcare), as the European Commission’s assessment suggests.

In EU context, Roma communities are more likely to suffer from poverty and xenophobia. This report is aimed at summarizing the main issues related to Roma situation in PAL countries in focus, which are Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovenia. Considering that one of the main problems identified in the Roma population is their exclusion in terms of education and employment, this paper is divided into two parts: The first one highlights education issues and the second one underlines employment issues. Finally, all objectives to be reached and measures to be implemented (in the field of education and employment) are gathered at the end of this report.

The report is available here: