(20 September 2017) – Despite many EU funding schemes, efforts so far have failed in making a significant impact on the life of Roma, an EESC hearing reveals.
The impact of EU funds for inclusion of the Roma is often thwarted because there is not enough political backing for projects, the beneficiaries lack skills and capacities to implement them or the needs of Roma communities are not always properly addressed, a panel organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has recently concluded.
The EESC hearing “Pitfalls and opportunities: Implementation of EU financed projects for Roma inclusion” assembled representatives of Roma organisations, NGOs and the European Commission (EC), who took part in two workshops to come up with conclusions and recommendations for the better application of the existing schemes.
Capacity building is key for both beneficiaries and authorities at both national and local levels. It was agreed that more Roma people should take part in the implementation of projects, but they should also be made aware that they must take part in the overall decision-making process and thus influence the public policies which directly affect them.