The persistent social and economic marginalization and prejudice faced by many of Europe’s 10–12 million Roma is unacceptable in the 21st century. This conclusion by the European Union drives the goals of the EU’s Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. Effective integration, according to the European Commission, requires “determined action both at national and EU levels.” To date, national government implementation of Roma integration strategies has been uneven and uncoordinated. If the Framework is to make a difference by 2020, national governments must come together and agree on a set of common standards to guide integration strategies. Without common standards, national efforts at Roma integration will continue to be inconsistent, inadequate, and ineffective.
The seven standards attached provide common actions for implementing integration strategies that will make the Framework a genuine success.