Positive Action for Roma in Four Key Areas

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem


This chapter provides insight in how positive action can look like in practice with a view to combating the discrimination against, and promoting the inclusion of, Roma in Europe. It highlights examples and good practices across Europe, because the widespread lack of awareness about what positive action is and what it does hinders this human rights instrument from reaching its full potential for this ethnic minority in Europe. First, emphasis is placed on the importance of adopting a sectorial, bottom-up approach to the designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating of positive action to ensure that the measures are tailored to the specific needs of local Roma communities and proportionate to the goals they pursue. Next, the inter-connectedness of the problems encountered by Roma in the areas of education, housing, employment and health is acknowledged, before taking a closer look at the implementation of soft and strong types of measures for Roma in these four key areas of socio-economic life. Too often, discussions are dominated by the controversy that surrounds strict quotas, which are by far the most well-known as well as the strongest kind of positive action. The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that States have a considerable number of options with varying levels of intensity in each of these fields.


Legal Instruments

    Council of Europe

    1. European Social Charter (18 October 1961) ETS No. 35Google Scholar
    2. Revised European Social Charter (3 May 1996) ETS 163Google Scholar

Non-legally Binding Instruments

    Council of Europe

    1. Council of Europe Strasbourg Declaration on Roma (20 October 2010) CM(2010)133 finalGoogle Scholar
    2. Recommendation CM/Rec(2000)4 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe (3 February 2000)Google Scholar
    3. Resolution 1740 of the Parliamentary Assembly on the situation of Roma in Europe and relevant activities of the Council of Europe (22 June 2010)Google Scholar

    European Union

    1. Commission Communication, An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (5 April 2011) COM(2011) 173 finalGoogle Scholar
    2. Commission Communication, Report on the evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (4 December 2018) COM(2018) 785 finalGoogle Scholar
    3. Commission Communication, Steps forward in implementing National Roma Integration Strategies (26 June 2013) COM(2013) 454 finalGoogle Scholar
    4. Commission Staff Working Document, Progress Towards the Common Objectives in Education and Training: Indicators and Benchmarks (21 January 2004), SEC(2004) 73 finalGoogle Scholar

Case Law

    European Court of Human Rights

    1. D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic, Judgment (13 November 2007), Application No. 57325/00Google Scholar
    2. Horváth and Kiss v. Hungary, Judgment (29 January 2013), Application No. 11146/11Google Scholar
    3. Oršuš and Others v. Croatia, Judgment (16 March 2010, GC), Application No. 15766/03Google Scholar

    European Committee of Social Rights

    1. European Roma Rights Centre v. Bulgaria, Decision (18 October 2006), Collective Complaint no. 31/2005Google Scholar
    2. International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) v. Belgium, Decision (21 March 2012), Collective Complaint No. 62/2010Google Scholar

Country Monitoring

    Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    1. Concluding Observations on Hungary (16 January 2008) E/C.12/HUN/CO/3Google Scholar
    2. Concluding Observations on Ukraine (4 January 2008) E/C.12/UKR/CO/5Google Scholar

    Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

    1. First Opinion on Germany (1 March 2002) ACFC/INF/OP/I(2002)00Google Scholar
    2. First Opinion on Ireland (22 May 2003) ACFC/INF/OP/I(2004)003Google Scholar
    3. First Opinion on Serbia and Montenegro (27 November 2003) ACFC/INF/OP/I(2004)002Google Scholar
    4. Second Opinion on Slovakia (26 May 2005) ACFC/OP/II(2005)004Google Scholar

    European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance

    1. Fifth Report on Bulgaria (19 June 2014) CRI(2014)1Google Scholar
    2. Fifth Report on the Czech Republic (16 June 2015) CRI(2015)35Google Scholar
    3. Fifth Report on Germany (5 December 2013) CRI(2014)2Google Scholar
    4. Fifth Report on Greece (10 December 2014) CRI(2015)1Google Scholar

General Comments and Recommendations

    Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    1. General Recommendation No. 27: Discrimination against Roma (16 August 2000) A/55/18, annex VGoogle Scholar


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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