The situation of the Roma in Europe is a cause for concern to the EU, as they are
exposed to individual a nd structural discrimination and many of them suffer from
social exclusion an d poverty. The social i ntegration and inclusion of Ro ma has
been the object of increasing political attention of t he EU in particular since the
enlargements of 2004 and 2007. The start of the Decade for Roma inclusion in
2005 marked the beginning of a coordinated effort by national authorities,
international organisations and civil society to address the issue through policy
action and support to projects in support of Roma communities.
In 2011 amid the recession it became clear that tackling social mar ginalisation
and exclusion of Roma is no t only a moral obligation based on fundamental EU
values, but al so an economic imperative that offers promising long -term benefits
for aging European societie s. In the spirit of this, the EU adopted a Framework for
National Roma Integration Strategies, requiring Member States to submit national
Roma integration strategies for the period up to 2020. The impact of this EU
Framework has recently been the object of a mid-term evaluation2 for the period
of 2011-2017 which recalled that the exclusion and discrimination of Roma has
existed for centuries. To overcome something so ingrained in society requires
structural changes and long-term commitments to a comprehensive approach.
Eventually, it may take more than a generation before one can see real impact.
Therefore, the current challenge is to come to terms with a sense of dismay
regarding the seemingly scarce evidence of success with Roma inclusion
interventions, in spite of significant efforts towards this goa l. Furthermore, there is
a growing awa reness that there is not enough analytical information about these
interventions3 to know what works, where and why and what the possible reasons
for failure are. Such information is essential and would, if available, of course play
a decisive role in the decision to renew and support further inclusion efforts.
Against this background, the current report presents a meta-evaluation to start
filling the gap of analytical information about past interventions. The evaluation
has been conducted by a group of six experts with a proven standing in the field
of social integration an d/or Roma incl usion against t he terms of reference
established by the JRC as given in Annex I: Terms of Reference.
1. 2 TH E MET A-E V A L U A T I O N
Meta-evaluation is a multifaceted instrument wi th a wide variation in purpose and
methods. Combining various aspects of this instrument, the cur rent meta-
2 Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (European Commission) (2018). Mid-term evaluation of the EU
Framework for national Roma integration strategies up to 2020.
3 ‘Intervention’ in this report is used as the generic term for a project, a programme or a policy that is intended to
change and improve from the current situation to a desire d future situation, here in the field of Roma inclusion and

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