National Roma Integration Strategy (NRIS)
In 2011 the European Commission adopted an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies focussing on four key areas: education, employment, healthcare and housing. Each EU Member State, including the UK, has made a commitment towards promoting Roma inclusion and drawn up either a National Strategy for Roma Integration or a set of measures concerning the integration of their Roma populations.
The UK’s National Roma Integration Strategy (NRIS) is not a strategy as such, but rather an integrated set of policy measures within the UK’s social inclusion policies. The progress of the measures is the responsibility of the Ministerial Working Group (MWG), coordinated by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The MWG produced 28 commitments across education, employment, health, housing and anti-discrimination aiming to improve the integration of Gypsy and Travellers in the UK, which hardly mentioned Eastern European Roma.
The progress of the government’s commitments was last updated in 2014 and included local based actions, lacking the overarching coordination across the UK.
The latest European Commission’s assessment of the UK’s NRIS published in June 2016, concluded that the UK’s mainstream policies are not working for Roma, as little impact on improving their situation was demonstrated.
Leading Roma organisation in the UK, Roma Support Group, stated in their briefing note produced in July 2016 that more action is needed to pressure various government departments to ‘draw their attention to these assessments’ and asked them for commitment to meet the objective of Roma integration.
Previous EC’s assessments of the UK’s progress on NRIS
- European Commission’s United Kingdom Factsheet (2014)
- European Commission’s assessment of UK’s National Strategy (2014)
- European Commission’s assessment of UK’s National Strategy (2012)
Civil society responses to UK’s NRIS
- Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2014) Gypsy, Traveller and Roma: Experts by experience. Reviewing UK’s Progress on the European Union Framework for National Integration Strategies.
- National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups (2014) Civil Society Monitoring on the Implementation of the national Roma Integration Strategy in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013
- University of Nottingham (2012) United Kingdom FRANET National Focal Point Social Thematic Study Situation of Roma
- Willers and Greenhall (2012) The UK government’s response to the EU framework on National Roma Integration Strategies
Other useful documents
- The Runnymede Trust (2016) UK NGO’s Alternative Report: Submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with regard to the Government’s 21st to 23rd Periodic Reports
- The World Bank and European Commission (2015) Handbook for Improving the Living Conditions of Roma at the local level
- Council of Europe (2009) The 10 Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion
The document was presented at European Platform for Roma inclusion meeting and provides a framework for the successful design and implementation of actions to support Roma inclusion.