The new 2014–20 EU budget period is the first to start with Roma inclusion high on the European agenda. The regulations on EU funds, adopted in December last year, create favorable conditions for launching ambitious policy reforms benefiting equality and Roma inclusion with support from EU funds.
The relevant national level operational programs, to be finalized and adopted in the coming months, should take advantage of these favorable conditions and commit to policy reforms, such as investing in early childhood development; providing quality, desegregated education services that equip disadvantaged children for labor market participation; providing personalized employment services that are able to address multiple disadvantages; and strengthening access to primary health care services for marginalized communities in remote areas.
Operational programs should also commit to changes in structures and procedures allocating EU funds, e.g., by setting up strong equality policy units, using simplified cost options, and launching global grants and capacity-building services.
The Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma program of the Open Society Foundations contributes to the programming of Structural Funds for Roma Inclusion with this toolkit. The aim of the toolkit is to assist public authorities involved in the programming by describing not just what should be done but also how these can be done.