For more than a decade, the EU has been the driving force behind initiatives to reduce the disadvantages and discrimination faced by Roma minorities. Data from the Fundamental Rights Agency show that this racialisation of public policy has had little effect on reducing inequality. Over the last decade, the EU has become the driving force […]
Increasing social investment to fight Roma exclusion
Since 1990, for over 30 years now, every 8 April, International Roma Days come and go. But the poverty and inequality Roma communities suffer in Europe and beyond have barely changed. That is shown by the findings of a recent Roma survey of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. And it is although Roma are subject to the EU’s only specifically ethnic policy.
The EU’s Roma policy began in 2011 and was extended for another ten years in 2020. But conceptually, the term ‘Roma’ covers a range of different communities, that do not necessarily share many of what are considered ‘cultural features’, like a common language. It is therefore even contested who, actually, qualifies as a Roma. And, as the bloc cannot intervene in many concerned policy areas on its own, EU institutions mainly encourage member states’ national governments to address Roma’s material disadvantages, exclusion and discrimination.
However, as long as prejudice and inequality go hand in hand, persistent poverty may even deepen negative stereotypes, and an ethnically-focussed policy might, hence, backfire. Therefore, the Progressive Post dedicates this dossier to the EU’s Roma policy and states that to avoid deepening racialised division even further, Progressives must win the argument for increased social investment. Hoping that in the future, Roma Days might not only be an opportunity to celebrate the pride of the communities but also to praise steps ahead in the fight against poverty and inequality.
Roma equality struggles are to be promoted by framing intervention strategies both through the lens of fighting antigypsyism and that of expanding social rights, ideally in alliance. Therefore, progressive forces should endorse and take advantage of a recent conceptual move which increases the potential of a thick social rights-driven political agenda. The first EU Framework […]
Roma integration strategies in the EU have not been particularly successful. However, the European Commission is right to relaunch an overhaul of this policy more than one decade after the first edition. To succeed, the integration strategies must be coupled with measures that combat inequality and promote social investment. One consequence of the Eastern EU […]
Why we need a feminist foreign policy
Under a Social Democratic-led government Sweden was the first country to pursue a feminist foreign policy. Between 2014-2022 we systematically analysed what decisions would mean for women and girls, using the three Rs – rights, representation and resources. Although the Swedish right-wing government decided to abolish this policy, several countries with different political colours have […]
A feminist foreign policy? Redefining its meaning
Traditionally, foreign policy has belonged to the realm of high politics and has long been conducted in accordance with the doctrine of the raison d’état (reason of State) and in the arcana imperii (State secrets), where only men have been present. Foreign policy, more than other policies, has therefore been particularly masculinised. When, in 2014, […]
War in Ukraine: women facing the scourge of gender-based violence
A war is raging in Europe. Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues. There are calls for peace negotiations. Of course, peace is important, but should it be peace at all costs? It is not just a question of the shameful occupation of the territory of a sovereign state, which the aggressor initiated on 24 February, because […]