Combating Institutional Anti-Gypsyism: Responses and promising practices in the EU and selected Member States

Friday, 19 May 2017
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The notion of ‘anti-Gypsyism’ aims to refocus public policies addressing Roma discrimination in order to place responsibility for combating structural, historically-embedded and systemic forms of racism, discrimination and exclusion towards Roma squarely on state institutions and actors. This report examines the ways in which policies and funding combat ‘anti-Gypsyism’ in the European Union and selected Member States and assesses the added value of the ‘anti-Gypsyism’ concept, with particular reference to its institutional forms. It explores ways in which these institutional forms could be combated by identifying some ‘promising practices or experiences’ found in five selected EU Member States (Germany, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK).  These ‘promising practices’ include reactive and proactive measures organised around four main themes: i) national, regional and local institutional responses; ii) training and education activities; iii) access to justice and effective remedies; and iv) media, public attitudes and political discourse.

The report further draws conclusions and provides a set of policy recommendations for EU and national policy-makers to effectively combat anti-Gypsyism. The authors highlight that discussions on anti-Gypsyism should focus not only on its definition, but on the actual outputs of current national and EU policies and a more robust application of EU rule of law and fundamental rights monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

A key proposal put forward is to expand the scope of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies to become the EU Framework for National Roma Inclusion and Combating Anti-Gypsyism and to equip it with the necessary authority and means to tackle systematic and institutional manifestations of anti-Gypsyism.

The report was prepared in cooperation with the Brussels-based European Network against Racism and Xenophobia (ENAR) and received financial support from the Open Society Foundations. Dr. Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of Justice and Home Affairs Programme at CEPS; Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po; Associate Professor/Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law in Maastricht University; and Honorary Industry Professor/Senior Research Fellow at the School of Law in Queen Mary University of London; Dr. Iulius Rostas is the Chair of Romani Studies/Assistant Professor at Central European University in Budapest. He was an Affiliated Fellow with the Institute for Advanced Studies at CEU, Senior Fellow with the Open Society Foundations Roma Initiatives Office and Visiting Lecturer of Sociology at Corvinus University of Budapest; and Lina Vosyliūtė is Researcher at Justice and Home Affairs Programme at CEPS.