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The EP called on the EU countries to provide housing for the Roma

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The European Parliament adopted a set of recommendations aimed at improving the precarious situation of Roma settlements in the EU.

The Roma, in all the diversity that the term encompasses, are the largest ethnic minority in Europe and face poverty and social exclusion in several Member States, MEPs said.

The main problems that need urgent attention are the lack of decent, desegregated housing, clean drinking water, electricity, sewage, waste water and waste treatment facilities, and the continued discrimination and segregation of Roma children in schools. MEPs also highlighted the lack of healthcare, long-term unemployment, police abuses and inadequate access to justice.

To remedy this situation, the EP calls for short- and long-term strategies supported by sufficient funding from the EU and national funds, in particular the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and national plans for recovery and resilience.

Member States should allocate funds at regional and local level to better respond to the immediate needs of Roma living in EU settlements. All obstacles, including direct and indirect forms of discrimination, which prevent the effective use of funds must be removed.

The Commission should set up an early warning mechanism to identify abuse or misuse of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and other EU funds meant to tackle the situation of Roma, MEPs say. They also urge the Commission to phase out marginalized Roma settlements across the EU by 2030. Including members of the Roma community who do quality social work in the settlements would be a way to persuade Roma to leave them.

MEPs call for children of Roma origin to be properly included in the national action plans under the European Guarantee for Children. The enhanced Youth Guarantee and Erasmus+ should be used to promote social cohesion and employment among Roma youth. They also believe that Roma participation and leadership should be a qualitative objective in national Roma strategic frameworks to promote social inclusion and democratic participation.

Finally, they point to the untapped potential of highly educated young Roma as an engine of positive change.

The resolution was adopted with 486 votes in favor, 109 votes against and 38 abstentions.

According to the European Union survey on minorities and discrimination, 63% of Roma are not in education, employment or training, while the EU average is 12%. 80% of Roma live below the poverty risk threshold in their country. 41% of Roma in the nine EU Member States covered by the EU-MIDIS II survey feel discriminated against because of their Roma origin in at least one area of ​​everyday life, such as job search, employment, housing, health and education. According to the European Union survey on minorities and discrimination, 63% of Roma are not in education, employment or training, while the EU average is 12%. 80% of Roma live below the poverty risk threshold in their country. 41% of Roma in the nine EU Member States covered by the EU-MIDIS II survey feel discriminated against because of their Roma origin in at least one area of ​​everyday life, such as job search, employment, housing, health and education.

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