Including Roma people in policy-making

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© ERGO Network, 2017
ERGO Summer Academy visuals
Problem addressed
Roma people are the largest minority in Europe and yet they
are signif‌icantly underrepresented in the political arena. While
there are policies in place to support Roma inclusion and
well-being, these tend to be introduced without adequate
consultation with Roma community members.
Innovative solution
The European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO)
network, established by a small group of NGOs in the
Netherlands in 2008, aims to empower Roma people in
Europe through political self-representation. Its members
comprise nearly 30 European organisations active in the
f‌ield of Roma rights. Contrary to many Roma policies that
target Roma people as passive recipients, the ERGO network
involves Roma people as active stakeholders and partners,
enhancing their social inclusion. It follows the principles of
active citizenship, collective responsibility and grassroots
empowerment to bring the voice of the Roma community to
the European and national policy-making arenas.
The network advocates for Roma issues in the EU arena,
serving as a link between the European and national level
on Roma issues. In 2016, for example, the network actively
engaged with the Slovak Presidency, contributing to the
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Af‌fairs
Council (EPSCO) conclusions on Roma people. The network
has also organised the f‌irst ERGO academy that brought
together young Roma members and volunteers from their
member organisations to develop their leadership and
advocacy skills. ERGO members also provide support to
Roma communities in applying for EU funding.
Key results and benef‌its
The ERGO network is the largest organisation representing
Roma interests in Europe to date. Thanks to its vast
membership, the network is able to give evidence-based
national analyses of the Roma situation in dif‌ferent countries,
to support its advocacy at EU level.
Including Roma people in policy-making
ERGO Network

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