Employment for Romani people in EU

Employment is the key for social integration


The Roma make up the largest and most vulnerable minority group in Eastern Europe. Although exact population estimates vary, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia have the highest shares of Roma within the overall population in the entire European Union. Roma communities are subject to considerable economic vulnerability, reflecting a complex set of interrelated challenges. In Eastern Europe, for example, 71% or more of Roma households live in deep poverty. Although many of these families reside in highly developed countries they nonetheless have to cope with levels of poverty and deprivation on par with the poorest areas of the world, and face bleak economic prospects due to persistent unemployment and low levels of education. The gap between a Roma family and an average European family broadens every day.


In all Roma households, household members suffer from hunger. The odds of graduating secondary school are 29 percent at the highest, and much lower in some of the countries in the region, especially among girls. In addition, less than half of all Roma men and a quarter or less of all Roma women can find jobs. At the root of these unequal outcomes lies a fundamentally unfair playing field, starting at birth and continuing throughout the lives of most Roma individuals. This spurs a self-perpetuating cycle of unequal opportunities, ethnic discrimination and stifled aspirations.

Addressing these deep inequalities for the Roma is a key human rights issue, but also a smart economic strategy for the countries concerned: with the rapidly aging populations in Eastern Europe, up to 10-20 percent of new labor market entrants in these countries are young Roma. Getting this group into jobs would increase national GDP levels as well as government revenues substantially.


Equal and full access to employment serves as a major vehicle of social inclusion, one that can improve living conditions and enable people, such as the European Union’s (EU) largest ethnic minority, Roma, to successfully tackle the challenges of poverty.

The EU has targeted employment and poverty reduction in its 2020 growth strategy, which mentions Roma explicitly though not exclusively. The Council of the European Union adopted a recommendation in December 2013, specifically suggesting that Member States ensure the equal treatment of Roma in accessing the labour market and to employment opportunities. Concerted efforts are needed to break through the cycle of disadvantage.


National Roma Integration strategy: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9C22gPWxfm-dDJHcnRNSUJVQ2M?usp=sharing

How to trackle unemployment: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9C22gPWxfm-ZnFkOHk1QnpnRlk?usp=sharing

Structural barriers: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9C22gPWxfm-YXVkQXV1Z1c3Yk0?usp=sharing

Jobs and internships: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9C22gPWxfm-RTNoakhKWEJKLXM?usp=sharing